From submitted reports
San Marcos motorists and passengers who failed to wear their seat belts experienced five fatalities and 71 injuries in 2007.
A simple click could have saved their lives or kept them from serious harm. So says a group of Texas State University students who have waged a month-long campaign to boost awareness for buckling up.
Erin Erickson, a member of the Safe Kids Buckle Up campaign, said, “For some, putting on a seat belt is a natural reaction that occurs every time one gets into a car, for others the reasons vary as to why they don’t wear their seat belt. Some say seat belts hurt them, others claim they ‘just forget’ and a select few say the drive is short enough they don’t need to wear one.”
The Texas State students, competing in the national Bateman competition, which is organized through the Public Relations Society of America, have implemented a multifaceted campaign during the last month.
The past two Fridays, the team has made two presentations, one at Hernandez Intermediate School and the other at Doris Miller Junior High, in hopes of effectively communicating their safety message to the children of the community.
“Children ages 11 to 14 were targeted because national research shows they are particularly vulnerable to riding unbuckled,” Erickson said.
The presentations involved testimonies from actual accident victims, seat belt safety games and safety pointers from the San Marcos Police Department, San Marcos EMS and a representative from Chuck Nash Chevrolet.
At the end of each presentation, children received a “seat belt license” that they signed with the promise they would never get into a car without buckling up.
“The message has been well-received,” Erickson said. “We hope we have given children of all ages the motivation to buckle up. Soon enough, they will be in the driver’s seat.”