SCDPS Buckle Up Campaign Continues Through 100 Deadly Days - WSPA.com

SCDPS Buckle Up Campaign Continues Through 100 Deadly Days

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A Department Of Public Safety seat belt campaign continues this weekend after the Highway Patrol said two people were involved in a fatal DUI crash and weren’t strapped in.

South Carolina now has a primary enforcement law where an officer has the authority to stop a driver if they haven't buckled up. The DPS said the trooper must have a clear and unobstructed view of the unrestrained driver.

Officials say statistics have been improving over the past few years. Troopers say more than 90 percent of drivers wear seat belts but more than half of drivers killed in traffic fatalities weren't strapped in.

Windsong Shelley was passing through a state rest area Sunday and tells 7 On Your Side she knows first hand what the dangers of driving or riding unrestrained can be.

“I wear my seat belt all the time. I'm a nurse and I’ve seen what not wearing your seat belt can do,” she said.

“I’ve taken care of people with traumatic brain injuries from car accidents from when they weren't wearing their seat belts,” she continued.

The Department of Public Safety says they've worked hard to make sure wearing a seat belt is second nature for everyone.

Driver Brian Smallwood tells 7 On Your Side years ago, that wasn’t common.

“ I can remember back in 7th grade we was in a horrible accident and I was in the front,” said Smallwood. He was riding with his family Sunday and said an accident changed his life .

“I ate the windshield and from them on we wore our seatbelts so i know firsthand how important it really is,” he said.

State law reads violators may face a fine of no more than $25. No person may be fined more than $50 for any one incident of more than one violation.

Firefighters have also been trained to help you learn the do's and don’ts of child safety belts.

The Department of Public safety statistics show each year more than 100 lives could be saved and more than 1000 injuries prevented if more people used safety belts.

Statistics show the risk of death shrinks by about 45 % for front seat drivers and the risk of injury shrinks by more than 50%.

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