Van Buren High School students participate in seat belt safety event

By | September 28, 2017 7:33 am

Spencer Police Chief Michael Brock, along with Van Buren County Sheriff Eddie Carter, Chief Deputy Mark Evans, and Deputy Troy Parmele, stand with the seat belt convincer machine. (Photo courtesy of Spencer Police Department)

Thanks to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, Lt. Jimmy Neal, Sgt. Kent Norris, Trooper Darryl Winningham, and Trooper Roger White with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, provided roll over demonstrations to show the importance of wearing seat belts. (Photo courtesy of Spencer Police Department)

Students at the Van Buren County High School recently participated in a seat belt awareness event that was coordinated by multiple law enforcement agencies.

In an effort to teach young drivers the importance of wearing seat belts, law enforcement officers from multiple agencies recently spent the day at Van Buren County High School demonstrating the importance of safe driving and wearing a seatbelt. Officers from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, Spencer Police Department, Van Buren County Sheriff Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol all took part in the event.

Spencer Police Chief Michael Brock and Van Buren County Sheriff Eddie Carter, along Chief Deputy Mark Evans and Deputy Troy Parmele, represented the agencies in Van Buren County. Representatives from the Tennessee Highway Patrol included Lt. Jimmy Neal, Sgt. Kent Norris, Trooper Daryl Winningham, and Trooper Roger White.

The purpose of this event was to provide an educational learning opportunity to some of Van Buren County’s newest drivers.

According to the Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, there were approximately 349 individuals, in 2016, killed during traffic crashes, in Tennessee, who were not wearing a seat belt. That is approximately 34 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities, in 2016.

While Tennessee’s average seat belt usage rate has increased from 86.2 percent to 88.95 percent, Tennessee is still nationally ranked as a “low use” state for seat belt usage. In an effort to increase the percentage of seat belt users, local and state law enforcement officers continue to educate and enforce seat belt laws to hopefully achieve 90 percent or higher.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants that were killed in crashes, in 2015, were not wearing their seat belts. As of Sept. 25, 2017, there have been approximately 229 passenger vehicle unrestrained occupant fatalities.

During the Van Buren County High School seat belt safety event, law enforcement officers had on hand the Tennessee Highway Safety Office rollover simulator and the seat belt convincer simulator. Both devices were used to demonstrate to Van Buren students the importance of wearing seat belts and wearing them properly.

As a reminder to the general public, Spencer Police Chief Michael Brock stated, “Please help prevent fatalities and keep the roadways safe by buckling up every trip, every time.”

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