Multiple agencies speak on importance of wearing seatbelts

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. Members of the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Scottsbluff Fire Department, Scottsbluff Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol and Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office spoke on the importance of wearing a seatbelt during the kick-off of their Annual Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket Mobilization.

In 2017, 356 fatalities occurred nationally during the Thanksgiving weekend while 66% of Nebraska’s fatalities occurred when the driver and passengers were not wearing seatbelts. (Brian Sherrod, KNEP)

Highway Safety Administrator Mark Segerstorm state that the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest times of year for travelers with millions on the roadways.

Driving is always impacted by speed, patience and distractions.

Many young adults are learning irresponsible traits from their peers and parents.

In 2017, 356 fatalities occurred nationally during the Thanksgiving weekend while 66% of Nebraska’s fatalities occurred when the driver and passengers were not wearing seatbelts.

2/3’s are in rural communities.

When ejected, eight out of ten, 83%, are killed.

59% of pickup truck occupants were killed in 2017 while 42% are passenger and car occupants.

Chief Tom Schingle from Scottsbluff Fire states that every day, emergency personnel across the country are responding to car accidents with or without seatbelts.

Schingle had a personal experience at the age of 15 with his mother and sister on a four lane highway.

The speed limit dropped from 65mph to 50mph, the other car misjudged it and they t-boned the car.

Schingle and his family came out with no injures while the other passengers had injures and was transported to the hospital.

Captain Brian Wasson from Scottsbluff Police states that bodily injury and death can be reduced by wearing a seatbelt. They participate in this annually.

Sheriff Mark Overman from Scotts Bluff County says people who could have survived in many accidents should have been wearing a seatbelt.

“The worst part of my job is having to be the bear of bad news for a lot of things that happen,” said Sheriff Mark Overman, Scotts Bluff County. “That includes a lot of fatalities that take place in our county and far too many of them are avoidable. Completely avoidable.”

Captain Kurt Von Minden from Nebraska State Patrol says in his 21 years, numerous wrecks could have made a huge difference if they were wearing their seatbelts.

Child Passenger Safety Technicians Bobbi Kuhlman and Jesse Lauruhn host a Car Seat Checkup course at least once a month. It takes between 15 to 20 minutes for each checkup.