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More buckled up leads to fewer fatalities

Staff Report • Aug 16, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Buckling up saves lives. Tennessee Department of Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons believes that’s one of the reasons the number of fatalities from car crashes in Northeast Tennessee is down 16 percent this year from the same period in 2012.Gibbons told Press staff writer Becky Campbell on Wednesday that he credits that drop to more drivers using their seat belts and law enforcement officers ticketing drivers and their passengers who don’t buckle up. We sometimes hear from ticketed drivers who are not happy with law enforcement’s crackdown on unbuckled motorists. They argue that wearing a seat belt should be a decision left up to adult drivers and their adult passengers.Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say about 40 million people do not regularly put on seat belts when they are on the road. A majority of those are young men living in rural areas.It’s important that all drivers and their passengers buckle up. It’s not just good advice — it’s the law. And, as Gibbons noted Wednesday, it might just save your life.

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