The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Tuesday, June 27, 2017:
As we move into the heart of summer and into prime vacation season, lots of people will be on the road. With increased traffic comes the higher probability that an accident will take place. Now is a good time to be reminded of the importance of buckling up when operating or riding in an automobile. I know, everyone already knows this. The problem is people know it, but still don’t buckle up.
In the first five months of this year, according to acting ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor, 264 people have been killed in trooper-investigated accidents in our state. Almost half of those deaths involved people who were not wearing a seat belt.
The Alabama seat belt law requires all persons in the front seat of a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt. If you are seated in the back seat you are not required to wear a seat belt unless you are under 15 years of age. Law or no law, we would recommend that ALL passengers, regardless of age, are secured with a seat belt. Time and time again we see videos provided by dashboard cameras which reveal just how vulnerable we are as drivers and passengers when involved in an accident.
One easy way to make sure you are putting everyone in your vehicle in the best position to survive an accident is to never put the car in drive without confirming everyone is buckled up – including the driver. A habit worth adopting that can save lives.
The fine is relatively small for being caught by law enforcement if you’re not wearing a seat belt - only $25. However, the penalty for not wearing a seat belt while driving if you’re in an accident may be serious injury or death. No one wants either. Be safe this summer and buckle up!
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