Special effort good reminder to buckle up

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Big tires. Roll bars. Chrome and extra lights. Seat belts.

Which of these do you think of when it comes to pickup trucks?

Trucks are an important part of the American culture -- to the point that a pickup truck is the best-selling model of all time.

Wearing seatbelts, unfortunately, hasn't caught on as much as the popularity of the pickup.

According to the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, in the past six years, only five of 74 male pickup truck drivers, ages 18-34 involved in fatal crashes, were using safety belts.

"Drivers of higher profile vehicles may feel invincible behind the wheel, but statistics show that's not the case," said Col. Bryan Tuma, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol.

"No matter what type of vehicle you drive, seat belts are proven to increase your odds of surviving a crash by up to 50 percent. Those are odds we hope everyone will take, and buckle up."

The NOHS has given a $17,000 grant to the Nebraska State Patrol to provide about 300 hours of trooper overtime, plus an additional 90 hours of overtime for dispatchers throughout a seven-day "Buckle Up in Your Truck" enforcement.

Special emphasis will be placed on efforts to raise awareness of the importance of fastening your seat belt each and every time you get into your vehicle.

No, troopers won't be stopping you for not wearing a seat belt; Nebraska's law is secondary, meaning you can only be cited for violation if you're stopped for a separate violation.

If you are, however, it carries a fine of $25 for each offense.

Most of us would be lost without pickup trucks, whether negotiating muddy, rutty roads, hauling critters or just helping a friend move across town.

But just because we have a high, imposing view of the road doesn't mean we can't be killed or seriously injured in wreck.

We have more than a week to get ready for the special "Buckle Up in Your Truck" enforcement effort, which runs from Sunday, May 6, through Saturday, May 12.

That's plenty of time to get back in the habit of buckling up in our truck -- or car, for that matter.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: