PUNXSUTAWNEY — Students at Punxsutawney Area High School passed a very important test Friday, and it had nothing to do with their future plans, as a seat belt safety check was held by Punxsutawney Borough Police while students began head home.
Shawn Houck, safety officer for PennDOT District 10, assisted with planning the safety check with Punxsutawney Police Chief Tom Fedigan.
Houck said that it is very important to remind young drivers to to always buckle up.
“Seat belts are a tool in vehicles that could save lives one day if any one of them are involved in a crash,” Houck said, adding that it’s even more important to wear seat belts these days, considering all of the distractions drivers must deal with in the current driving climate.
“This seat belt safety check is a wonderful joint effort between Punxsutawney Borough Police and Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police to get these kids to buckle up every time that they drive,” Houck added.
Fedigan explained that his department holds one of the checks periodically throughout the school year.
“This seat belt compliance check was held at the exit at Punxsutawney Area High School,” Fedigan said. “We want to warn and remind students that wearing your seat belt is the law in Pennsylvania. We handed out several friendly reminders to teens and adults in regards to wearing their seat belts.
“If they were wearing their seat belt, we just waved them through,” Fedigan added. “For those who weren’t in compliance, we gave them a card that gives some statistics regarding seat belt use, such as the fact that traffic crashes remain the number one killer of young people ages 16-24.”
Fedigan explained that a recent accident last Thursday night was a good example of the importance of seat belts.
“In that accident, there were two young females in the front seat of the vehicle, and officers who investigated the accident said they were certain that if they had not been wearing their seat belts, they could’ve been seriously injured or even killed in the crash,” he said. “Kudos to those two girls who did the right thing by buckling up. We are here to remind everyone that they need to wear their seat belts”
Fedigan added that he was pleased that the majority of adults and students had their seat belts on while departing the school Friday afternoon.