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Five-0 Redux

Belt ‘em, Five-0

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So it seems that many of the Hawaii fans have a problem with McGarrett and Danno not wearing seat belts during high-speed chases, or when they have a perp tied to the hood of their car, or when they are squabbling like an old married couple while in pursuit. Specifically, I think our popular TV news anchor, Joe Moore, who has a seat belt comment almost every time I flip over to hear his post-Five-0 comments on the 10:00 Monday night news, has the biggest problem. Joe, like many of us watching, want to know why the Five-0 team seem to not wear seat belts.

Well, in the severed head episode, Chin Ho and Kono were wearing seat belts, but Kono is the rookie and I know they feel compelled to protect their delicate Five-0 team flower. Danno did ask Kamekona if he had seat belts in his car when he was going to take Grace to higher ground during the tsunami episode. I thought that was hilarious. I mean, why now, Danno? You never wear one. But again, it was a female who needed to wear a seat belt. Does that mean only ladies need to wear the belts, gents?

In Hawaii, the law is that the driver and passenger must wear a seat belt, and any person under the age of 17 has to wear a seat belt in the back seat, or risk getting a ticket. We call it “Click it, or Ticket” here in Hawaii. Not sure if it’s the same in other states, but I bet it’s similar.

According to my insider on the police force, officers are required to wear seat belts while on duty. Basically, it is a liability issue for all government employees, especially if they get into an accident while working in a county-owned vehicle. “Officer Real Five-0” also said that he felt “police are held to a higher standard of conduct, and it only makes sense that we abide by the same laws and set the example.”

Now, that being said, there is an exemption to that requirement. And this, I hope, will help all of the Five-0 fans and Joe Moore. The exemption to the law is, of course, emergency vehicles. “Emergency vehicle” means an ambulance, a fire-fighting or rescue vehicle, or a police vehicle while on duty. So McGarrett and Danno speeding around Oahu without seat belts is completely okay. Sorry, Joe, they’re on duty, on official Five-0 business, so they do not need to wear the belts. No click it or ticket for the Five-0 Team.

And finally tonight, the next question is about cell phones. And yes, like the belts, police officers are also exempt from the law while on duty. So Steve, Danno, Chin Ho, and Kono can use their cells and be beltless in their cars with impunity.

That is, while they are on duty, of course.

I’m not sure we all agree with our beltless quartet, but I’m sure we can suspend our disbelief for an hour every Monday to realize that when in pursuit of dangerous criminals, the last thing on our heroes’ minds is a $92 fine for not being safely belted in. We’d like them to think of their health and well-being in case they are in an accident, because we would not want anything to happen to our Five-0 team, but we are always going to be along for the ride. Belted in, or not.

Redux Side Note: It will be a busy Super Bowl weekend for all the Five-0 fans. Sunday is a rebroadcast of the pilot episode and Monday is the brand new episode “E Malama,” where we will finally meet Stan, Rachel’s husband and Danno’s “rival.” Dennis Chun will also be back as Sgt. Duke Lukela. So be there. Aloha.


Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama. She studied Theatre Arts and acted in and directed productions in Spokane, Wash., and also worked in Extras Casting for NBC and Warner Brothers on various television shows and films in the Pacific Northwest.

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  • I notice a lack of seatbelt use on many shows but for some reason, not on H50. I guess I’m too busy waiting for the cargument to begin. I do have a problem however, when the actors don’t wear helmets while riding motorcycles. Alex O’Loughlin admitted to a little trepidation over that. It’s too dangerous and not worth the risk.

  • I’m looking at faces, not chests (heh heh!). . . so I’ve never noticed the seat belts, or lack thereof! Very interesting tidbit about the emergency vehicle exemption, though! Thanks, always, for the enlightenment! =)

  • Geez people, it’s just a TV show. Don’t get all technical and expect everything you see on TV is real. Stop over analyzing things. There are a lot of TV shows and movies where the driver and/or passenger are not wearing seat belts.

  • This no seat belt thing is American TV/Movie Hollywood macho mentality. Let me give you another scenario….All three Swedish “Dragon Tattoo” movies and sequels show all the main characters buckling up in the midst of all the mayhem that goes on in these psychological thrillers.

  • In 1986, I was involved in a car accident, totalling my 5 month old Maseratti , biturbo, quatro-port, with an elbow injury only, because I buckled up – only that one day. There was no other way of surviving a 95 MP speed with multiple flip-overs thrown back from the 10 ft embankment. No one believed their eyes when I crawled out of an upside-down, twisted wreck, beyond identificaton of the brand of a sports marvel – no more. Within few months the CA Seat Belt Law was passed. Number of ives saved? BUCKLE UP, please! Oh, please, don’t drive over the speed limit, even if you’re angry at your spouse, general contractor, listening to angry conservative radio, because an idiotic Jaguar driver wants to race with you to the top of the hill and the unfinished surface of your lane has loose gravel adding to slippery! My Son was 3 then – not in the car, never sped with him aboard – it was not his time to loose me. Thank God! Please, Alex O*, be careful when you drive the way you do! Think of your Son, if nothing else! Like to watch though….

  • I understand that a lot of you’s just a tv show…but with kids watching it does influence them. But with McGarrett being a Navy Seal…You must be buckled up on base, his character should abide by the military laws too …I was stationed at Pearl Harbor for 10 years and it still influences me to this day. I too was involved in an accident on I-5 just north of San diego and I believe the only thing that saved my life was from being buckled up…after the car flipped and I was hanging upside down by my seatbelt hoping no one would hit me again…in Michigan the seat belt slogan is “Click it or ticket”!!!

  • You would be amazed about what people on the mainland are saying about the show. My mom in Texas said ” I did not realize how many dangerous places the their were in Hawaii” Really mom? I cannot believe that Joe Moore is being so critical. One of the hotties must have gotten the part over him. LOVE the show no seatbelts and all.

  • I’m too busy laughing at the character conversations and drooling over McGarrett to notice seatbelts. If you’re noticing seat belts and furthermore commenting about it, then I have this to say. Its not real. Its entertainment. What next, the Health and Safety department start demanding Five-0 take no action without a risk assessment. It would not be soo entertaining.

  • Lighten up audience. I’m too busy and completely glued to my TV screen every Monday night enjoying Hawaii Five-0 and the awesome and humorous characters. It’s a fantasy TV crime drama. Police officers often need to get to a place quickly to capture the criminals. In any event, there were many chase scenes that I see all the characters wearing their seat belts on H50. My family loves this excellent show, so exciting, entertaining and fast paced!

  • You must be very, very old to prefer the OLD Hawaii Five 0 to the reboot. The acting was stilted, the scripts were mundane and the character interaction was non-existent. I’m 73 years old and I,too, watched the OLD episodes, but I’m not old enough to miss them.

  • Just a TV show. You’re not supposed to model your life after this. Just be entertained, and if the parents out there can’t get that across to their kids, too bad. We’re just ment to be entertained for one hour, that’s all.

  • I wonder if Fox would appreciate Joe talking about a show on another network. Publicity is publicity, good or bad. I bet if they asked him to be on all of a sudden the complaints would go away

  • Not only do they not wear seat belts, or helmets, McG never misses when he shoots his gun, he kills without psychological issue, he can beat up 3 men at a time and all of em three times his size, and look GORGEOUS doing it all. It’s that gorgeous part that makes it all ok for me.

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