Laramie High School conducted a seat belt check for students and faculty on October 16, 2018. The event was run by the Laramie Police Department, students and staff volunteers. Student council representatives and their advisor, Kimberly Dale, team up with members of the Laramie Police department and State Farm Insurance to help make students and faculty more aware of seatbelt safety.

The seatbelt check is also a part of the Students Against Destructive Decision-making campaign, or SADD. The purpose of the event, which happens once a year, is to promote safe driving practices and to try to prevent fatal car accidents.

“The seatbelt check is part of the Seatbelt Awareness campaign for National Seatbelt Awareness Week,” Dale said.

If an occupant is wearing their seatbelt, they receive a donated prize for being safety conscious and if they are not, they still receive a prize, but with an added reminder to think about their decisions. The results of the check are recorded so the data can be used for informational purposes.

“We don’t want to make it punitive. It’s not about trying to catch anybody. It’s not about trying to shame anybody. It’s just about saying if we say we care about safety, this is something to take it one step further, that we really do care about safety.” Dale said.

LHS is the only location in town that conducts a yearly seatbelt check. Many volunteers believe it to be a worthy cause and think it should happen more often and at more locations, even with the inconveniences it can cause.

“Sure. It’s just a lot of work to get there, plus it’s like a big traffic commitment,” Student Council volunteer Kit Ng said.

The check itself does not take very long, but it can cause issues when every car coming into a parking lot must stop and talk to the volunteers. This could cause problems in trying to conduct seatbelt checks at other locations. Traffic delays could lead to other issues depending on where a check might take place.

Statistics prove that people who wear a seatbelt are more likely to survive or have less serious injuries if they are involved in a car accident. It takes on average two seconds to fasten a seatbelt, and according to the CDC Injury Center those two seconds can increase the likelihood of surviving a crash by more than 40 percent.

Many event volunteers and members of the LHS community have had personal experience in one way or another with car accidents and seatbelt safety.

“I hope that not wearing a seatbelt doesn’t end up affecting you or someone you love in the future… I hope that someone doesn’t become one of the statistics,” Dale said.

Seatbelts and safety checks may seem silly and annoying, but safety awareness is a serious issue affecting people today.