"Buckle Up" campaign promotes seat belt safety on the roads

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MONROE,La. (KNOE)- Glenwood Regional Medical Center launched a campaign on Monday to make sure people “Buckle Up” on the roads.

This comes in the wake of last year when 25% of traffic fatalities in our area were caused by not wearing a seat belt. This includes Union, West Carroll, East Carroll, Morehouse, Lincoln, Ouachita, Richland, Madison, Jackson, Caldwell, Tensas, and Franklin Parishes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 79% of people in Louisiana wear a seat belt. Teenagers reportedly have the lowest rate of seat belt use.

In Louisiana, drivers and passengers over the age of 13 must buckle up or face getting a ticket.

It may sound like a simple thing to do, but state troopers said people should rather be safe than sorry. “As long as people know that wearing a seat belt can save their life, that’s a lot better than getting a ticket and being reminded of it,” said Michael Reichardt, Louisiana State Trooper.

He said there’s no excuse for being in a car without a seatbelt.

“They’re in a hurry, they forget, they don’t think it’ll help if they’re involved in a crash. You know, we hear all kinds of excuses. But that’s exactly what it is...it’s an excuse,” Reichardt said.

The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration said that from 1975 to 2017, seat belts saved more than 300,000 lives.