Scott D. Benton, Chief of Police
20 Essex St
Whitman, MA 02382
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Whitman Police Participating in Seat Belt Safety Awareness Campaign
WHITMAN — Chief Scott D. Benton would like to announce that the Whitman Police Department is participating in a public safety campaign to remind residents to buckle up when they are behind the wheel or passengers in a vehicle.
On Tuesday, a GMC pickup truck with front-end damage was placed in a parking lot at 1153 Bedford Street, Route 18.
A crash test dummy hangs out of the broken windshield of the truck and large white square stickers were affixed to the hood and doors that read, “Don’t break mom’s heart. Buckle up.”
A placard beside the vehicle reads “Seat Belts Save Lives. Buckle Up.”
The public safety campaign is part of an ongoing effort by AAA and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to encourage people to use their seat belts.
“Every year people needlessly die or are seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes all because they didn’t buckle their seat belts,” Chief Benton said. “It takes two seconds to buckle up and it has been proven to save lives.”
According to the state’s annual seat belt observation study, Massachusetts has one of the lowest seat belt use rates in the country at 74 percent, well below the national average of 90 percent.
Fifty-nine percent of the 242 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Massachusetts roads in 2016 were unrestrained, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Seat belts saved an estimated 115 lives in Massachusetts in 2016, according to the NHTSA, and an additional 45 deaths could have been prevented if seat belt usage was at 100 percent.