Aurora - James A. Garfield Senior, Anna Brigham was awarded the “Saved by the Belt Award” by the Ohio State Patrol at Aurora Farms Outlets in Aurora, Ohio Saturday, May 17, 2014 at their annual kick-off for the “Click it or Ticket” campaign.
Miss Brigham survived a head-on collision during blizzard-like conditions on February 27, 2014 near the intersection of State Routes 303 and 88 in Freedom Township. Although Anna suffered minor injuries, she realizes she is here today because she wore a seatbelt.
This award was brought back this year after several years of hiatus and was presented to Anna by Ohio State Troopers Sergeant Bruce D. Zuchowski and Trooper Griffin Kelly; both troopers represent the Hiram Patrol Post, which serves an 82 mile stretch of the Ohio Turnpike.
The program that awards the “Saved by the Belt Award” is Safe Communities, which is an educational division of Portage County that is financed to raise awareness for seatbelt safety based on a three year period of fatalities within the county.
Here are some recent statistics on seat belt use or lack thereof:
1: 63% of fatalities are caused from not wearing a seatbelt
2: Data suggests education alone is just not doing the job, especially for males ages 16-25. They just don’t think they’ll be injured or killed in an accident
3: If 90% of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually.
4: The cost of unbuckled drivers and passengers goes beyond those killed and the loss to their families. We all pay for those who don’t buckle up ¬ in higher taxes, higher health care and higher insurance costs.
On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbelted crash victim are 50% higher than those for a belted crash victim. Society bears 85% of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly.
Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. The 2014 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicked off May 19 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.
The Hiram Police Department is joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21 through June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.