COLUMBUS – A new NSP poster shows that not buckling up your seatbelt can come at a high cost.
The new posters are being placed around the Nebraska State Patrol Troop B patrol area, in hopes of preventing future roadway deaths. 928 deaths from vehicle accidents have occurred in the Troop B area from 1993 to 2015, with Platte County seeing the highest at 119 deaths.
Trooper Nic Bonney operates out of the Columbus office, and says not wearing a seatbelt makes you 30 times more likely to be ejected, and 3 out of 4 people who are ejected are killed.
“The vehicle is obviously constructed to get into an accident, so they want to keep you in that vehicle. Especially new vehicles these days, they’re going to crinkle a certain way, the engines going to go somewhere else. They’re going to keep you contained in the vehicle as long as you’re wearing your seatbelt,” says Bonney.
Colfax County has seen 45 deaths over the 22 year time span, and County Attorney Denise Kracl helped fund the production of the posters. Kracl has dealt with a large number of fatal accidents while serving the county, and says she hopes these posters can help make a difference.
“As the County Coroner, it’s really difficult for me, but I can say we’ve seen men, women, and children, all die needlessly, because they weren’t wearing their seatbelt, or they weren’t properly restrained. None of us wants to go to someone’s house and tell them your loved one isn’t coming home, because they couldn’t take two seconds to snap their seatbelt,” says Kracl.
Bonney says, “Just like Denise, we are sick of rolling up on these accidents, getting dispatched to these accidents, having to talk to family members. When we know that if you had your seatbelt on, none of this would ever occur, so just wear your seatbelt.”
Other counties with high death totals over the years include Madison at 74, Cuming and Wayne at 61, and Dakota at 62.
You can see the full list of numbers by clicking on the graphic or the full poster below. The posters will distributed in various spots throughout the Troop B area.
In addition to the posters, troopers will be handing out yellow information leaflets, regarding safety belt facts, to anyone who is pulled over or ticketed for a safety belt violation.