Cracking Down to Save Lives

9 years 6 months 9 hours ago June 08, 2007 Jun 8, 2007 Friday, June 08 2007 Friday, June 08, 2007 4:22:19 PM CDT in News

"If I don't put it on immediately, my five-year-old reminds me to put it on," Marchetto said.

In her job, she sees first hand what can happen in an accident where seat belts aren't used.

"I work in the healthcare field so any time there's any trauma or anything, any accident at all usually there's an injury due to someone without a seatbelt," Marchetto said.

In 2006, 70 percent of the people who died in traffic crashes across the nation weren't wearing seatbelts.The Missouri Highway Patrol says buckling up could have prevented many of those deaths.

"We can't change the laws of physics and when a vehicle is moving at a high speed down the highway and comes to a sudden stop your body continues to move at that speed unless you're tied to the vehicle and restrained and you somehow stop with the vehicle," said Lt. Vernan Dougan, Missouri Highway Patrol.

Officers say many people already know about the dangers of not buckling up.

"We don't get in the car without putting on a seatbelt," Tracey Westhoff said. "The kids have been doing that since they've been in car seats."

They hope the "Click-it or Ticket" program's no tolerance attitude will help remind everyone to wear seatbelts.The patrol can't pull someone over soley for not wearing seatbelts. The highway patrol recently issued 98 seatbelt violations during a two week period.

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