Seat belts save lives |

Seat belts save lives

President Bill Clinton tried to tell people to fasten their seat belts in 1997 when he helped create “Buckle Up America.”

It’s a safety campaign from May 21 to May 28 held in hopes of decreasing the 40,000 deaths reported on highways each year.

In 1999, according to statistics provided by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, 19,000 people not wearing their seat belts died in accidents. Children accounted for 3,000 of those deaths.

Buckle Up America’s goal in 2001 is to increase national seat belt use from 68 percent to 90 percent. The organization believes if that goal is reached it would prevent 5,500 deaths, 132,000 injuries and save more than $8 billion each year.

The average fine for being caught in Nevada without a seat belt is $40. In California, the fine runs about $32.

A driver who is 18 or older is required by law to ensure that each passenger in his or her car fasten their seat belt. The ticket goes to the driver if an officer makes a traffic stop and sees a violation, said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Modispacher.

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