Deaths spark renewed seat belt effort

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – January has been a very tragic month on Columbiana County roadways. Six people were killed in four accidents.

Five of those victims were not wearing a seat belt. Lieutenant Joe Dragovich with the Ohio State Highway Patrol Lisbon Post said most of those deaths could have been prevented if the victim’s had buckled up.

Last year in Columbiana County, eight people were killed in 8 different car crashes where seat belts were available but not used.

“There seems to be a theme here that if you’re not buckled up and you’re in one of these severe impacts, you’re going to die. That’s the message,” said Dragovich. “Seat belts save lives. There’s a way to prevent it, and the way to prevent it is to take that time to buckle up.”

Dragovich said once the driver buckles up, it’s important to look over at the people in the passenger seats and make sure those passengers are wearing their seat belts too.

In a recent survey, the seat belt voluntary compliance rate in Columbiana County was just under 73 percent. It should be at 85 percent or higher.

Dragovich said people caught driving without a seat belt will be cited, no exceptions.

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