Seat belts save lives

The Lisbon Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol soon will be launching a two-week traffic enforcement program that will focus on safety belt use.

According to a release from the local Post, Columbiana County has experienced six fatal crashes resulting in eight deaths thus far in 2014.

Any death on our roadways is tragic, of course, but that figure is especially painful when one considers we are only, today, on our 72nd day of the year.

From 2010 to 2012, more than half of those killed on Ohio’s roadways were NOT wearing a safety belt, according to statistics presented by the OSHP.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 340 lives were saved in Ohio, and 11,949 were saved nationwide in 2011, as a direct result of motorists buckling-up.

With that in mind, the Patrol is promoting its “Drive to Zero Highway Deaths” campaign by encouraging, as always, that all passengers wear safety belts.

The county program, conducted by a select team of troopers from the Cambridge District, will run March 18-21 and 25-28 at selected areas throughout the county.

All motorists, beginners and those experienced, should be practicing safe driving. We all need to educate others on the importance of buckling up, especially young adults, who remain the most at risk age group for involvement in a fatal crash, troopers report.

“The message is clear: speed kills, seat belts save lives, don’t drink and drive, and a distracted driver is a dangerous driver,” the Patrol reminds us.

We couldn’t agree more. Always think safety.