The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) hopes to reach many more people through its seat belt safety program in the next three months.
The target audience is teenagers, who represent the highest number of unbelted fatalities.
Capt. Jamey Balthazor, commander of NSP Troop E in Scottsbluff, says teenagers are listening.
“Out here in the Panhandle, we’re actually very fortunate that last year was a record low year,” Balthazor tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Only six percent of our fatal crashes involved a teen driver or teenager. We feel very fortunate that we were able to reduce that. That being said, there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
The State Patrol demonstrated its Rollover Simulator, Seat Belt Convincer, and Driving Simulator to 18,000 Nebraskans from January through March. The Nebraska Office of Highway Safety is funding the effort.
“What we know is if you put your seat belt on, the chances of being killed in a motor vehicle crash go down exponentially,” Balthazor says. “Last year, about 75% of those killed in the state were not restrained, so those numbers just don’t lie. If we can get you to buckle up, the chances are you’re going to probably survive a crash.”
Those interested in scheduling a safety presentation should contact their nearest Troop Area Office:
- Headquarters Troop-Lincoln: (402) 471-4545, Trp. Charlie Cook
- Troop A-Omaha: (402) 331-3333, Trp. James Estwick
- Troop B-Norfolk: (402) 370-3456, Trp. Gena Jones
- Troop C- Grand Island: (308) 385-6000, Lt. Jeromy McCoy
- Troop D- North Platte: (308) 535-8047, Lt. Kirk Hansel
- Troop E- Scottsbluff: (308) 632-1211, Capt. Jamey Balthazor