Grant drives seat belt educational program in Ford City
Ford City police and the state Department of Transportation are teaming up to educate students about the law that requires drivers and passengers to use seat belts whenever they are riding in a car.
The educational program at Ford City High School begins on Monday and will feature police officers talking to students about the law and how wearing seat belts saves lives. Police plan to add extra patrols near the school to enforce the seat belt law during the first three weeks of March. The program is being funded by a PennDOT grant.
“This is a public safety issue,” Ford City police Sgt. John Atherton said.
PennDOT statistics show that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the state for teens and young adults, and that in most of those cases, crash victims were not wearing seat belts.
“Being properly restrained increases your survival rate in a crash,” said Jay Ofsanik, PennDOT safety press officer.
The law requires anyone younger than 18 to be strapped in, and children younger than 8 must be securely fastened in a car seat.
Eight people were killed in car crashes in Armstrong County last year, and six of those victims were not wearing seat belts, Ofsanik said.
He and Atherton said they have heard a variety of excuses from people who don't buckle up or who drive children without using car seats.
“Maybe people think it won't happen to them,” Ofsanik said. “You may be the safest driver on the road — but what about the other guy?”
And it's not just a teen problem when it comes to ignoring the law about seat belts and car seats.
Police have responded to reports in the past of parents or grandparents picking up children from preschool without having car seats in their car, Atherton said.
“I've seen kids climbing in and out of a car's hatch,” he said.
Ignoring the law can be a generational issue for some adults who grew up before the mandatory seat belt laws were passed.
“That's why it's important to break the cycle with teens and educate them about safe driving,” Ofsanik said.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Manor woman trains blood-tracking dogs with hopes of working at home
- Kittanning firefighters set to muster up a good time in 125th year
- Family to rebuild Manor home destroyed by fire
- Duck Derby helps keep Armstrong theater group afloat
- Armstrong Concert Band performing Saturday in Ford Cliff
- Mayflies making Ford City roads slick for drivers
- Stuff the Bus in East Franklin Saturday
- Rural Valley day care opening in former American Legion building
- Kittanning event raising money for Drugs Kill Dreams
- Late afternoon fire destroys Manor home
- Armstrong sheriff replaces patrol cars with newer models