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Buckle Your Kids Up: Car Wrecks Can Happen to You
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on March 11, 2013 @ 8:49AM
Created on March 09, 2013 @ 7:29PM

"It's there for a reason, and it takes just a few seconds to click it in." A reminder about seat belts, from someone whose seen his fair share of car wrecks.

Lt. Walter Knight of Clarksburg Fire said, "Because we've seen not only adults, but children injured over the course of time."

Injuries and death could be the results of not buckling up. Unfortunately, the latter was the case, after an SUV somehow lost control in Braxton County, slid down a hill, and expelled two of it's passengers.  A 14 year-old boy and a 12 year-old girl both died on the scene. Two other kids and two adults were taken to the hospital. None of them were wearing a seatbelt.

They were from Kentucky, far from home. But usually, these things happen in our own backyard.

Knight added, "Statistically, they've always said the accidents happen within two or three miles of home. Whether you're just leaving or coming back, it's usually a place that you are familiar with."

To try and prevent a tragedy like this, LT. Walter Knight of the Clarksburg Fire Department says it starts with education. So, he taught his son about the importance of wearing a seat belt at a young age.

"He knows there's no question. When he gets in, the seat belt goes on. There's no excuses, no exceptions."
 
Letting your kids ride without a seat belt probably doesn't happen a lot. That's why some parent's concerns lie elsewhere, when their children are riding with someone else or even on a bus.
 
Samantha Matheny of Clarksburg said, " he buckles up on her own. I always make sure. But, I do think school buses should have seat belts. At least, for the younger kids, who have to sit in the front seats."
 
Seat belt violations are a secondary offense, that means police must have probable cause to pull you over in the first place.
 
K.D. Sappington of the Morgantown Police Department said, "If we see you driving down the road, without your seat belt on, we can't just pull you over for that. Which would probably be a good thing for the legislature to consider."
 
But that doesn't mean they can't see you sneak and try to snap that belt. Officers say that seat belts must be worn correctly, too.
 
And as far as the rules of the road go: If you're in the front seats, you must wear a belt. Under 18 and in the backseat, you must wear one too. And for children who are under 8, or under 4 ft., 9" tall, it's a booster in the back seat for them.
 
And officials warn: "Thinking It could never happen to me, is probably the wrong train of thought to have."

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