State Police tout car safety with 'Saved by the Belt' award - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

State Police tout car safety with 'Saved by the Belt' award


In the past four days, six children have been either hurt or killed in accidents in the metro area because they weren't properly restrained, including an 8-month-old boy who died after being ejected from his mother's car in a crash in New Orleans East.

According to State Police, 722 people died in car accidents in Louisiana last year, and more than half of those killed were not wearing a seat belt.

"Safety on our roadways is paramount, and we can't enforce this enough that seat belts save lives," said Trooper Melissa Matey. "That might sound cliché, however you see it every day."

Norman and Susan Ross are living proof. Because they were buckled up, they walked away from an accident that totalled their car in May.

"The accident happened so fast," Norman Ross said. "We saw the guy when he lost control, but next thing we knew, he was in our lane, right on top of us."

"The tow truck driver couldn't believe when we walked into his office that we were the Rosses and had been involved in that accident the night before," said Susan Ross.

The couple, who sustained only minor injuries, are the 2013 recipients of the Saved by the Belt award, which is given out by the New Orleans Regional Traffic Safety Coalition.

"The difference between belted occupants and unbelted occupants is the difference between a head and a spinal cord injury," said Bridget Gardner, the RN trauma coordinator for the Interim LSU Hospital.

Gardner sees preventable serious injuries every day.

"People who are unrestrained are thrown violently or ejected into oncoming traffic into the street, into trees, or concrete," Gardner said.

Two New Orleans firefighters were killed more than a week ago when their truck ran off the road and hit a tree in Long Beach, Miss. Neither was wearing a seat belt.

"What I want people to understand is if their life is worth anything to them or to their family, they need to buckle up," Matey said.

State Police say if you have any questions about how to use seat belts or properly restrain a child, stop by Troop B in Kenner every Wednesday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Troopers are on hand to answer questions and inspect and even install your child safety seats.




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