CDC says more people report wearing seat belts

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "I  was involved in a truck that rolled over several times and we all walked away.   We were just very lucky," said Carla Bell.

Carla Bell says she wasn't buckled up when that accident happened. She says knowing what could have been motivates her to make wearing her seat belt a habit.

"I didn't back then. I was younger then, I'm older now, it makes a difference," said Bell.

In fact, more and more people are choosing to click it before hitting the road. In a report out this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about 85 percent of people say they do wear their seat belts in their vehicles according to a 2008 study.

"Because of the education that's out there and because of the enforcement efforts on behalf of the police departments based on these primary seatbelt laws all work to increase the seat belt usage," said Sergeant Steve McDaniel.

With help from grant money, Jonesboro Police Sergeant Steve McDaniel says the JPD does some research of its own regarding the number of drivers wearing seat belts in Jonesboro.

"Our last survey that we did which was in November we did a survey that said we were at about 73 percent usage," said McDaniel.

Not wearing a seat belt became a primary offense in Arkansas  less than 2 years ago.  McDaniel says he thinks with even more education and continued enforcement, more people will start buckling up.

"Our goal is voluntary compliance from everyone.   Through the education and hopefully changing the attitudes through education, but if that doesn't work, we're always there to write a citation if we need to," said McDaniel.

For drivers like Freddie Green--

"I've been wearing my seat belt for years," said Green

and Carla Bell, seatbelts are a part of their daily routines.

"I have nieces and nephews and every time they get into a vehicle they are buckled up," said Bell.

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