LOGAN – Two girls and their mother were recognized at Chieftain Elementary Friday afternoon with Ohio’s “Saved By the Belt” award, for having remembered to buckle up their safety belts.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ashley Carter was driving on state Route 93 in Hocking County with her daughters Izzabella and Jaclyn Rau in the car on June 22, 2021, when they were hit head-on by another vehicle.
Though Carter and Izzabella Rau were both injured, their injuries could have been much worse had they not been wearing their safety belts.
“We’re here to honor them for that day,” Highway Patrol Athens Post Commander Lt. Steven Daugherty told an attentive crowd of Chieftain Elementary students gathered in a school parking lot. “They made sure they wore their seat belts, and that’s what saved them from getting serious injuries. Due to their diligence of wearing their safety belts, they did not get critically injured, or die.”
The trio received certificates signed by Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Thomas J. Stickrath and Patrol Supt. Col. Richard S. Fambro, as well as a “Saved By the Belt” license plate bracket.
According to a news release from the Patrol, in 2020 487 people in Ohio were killed in traffic crashes where a seat belt was available, but was not used.
Daugherty urged the children in the audience to emulate the diligence of their classmates.
“If you’re in the car, what’s the first thing you’re going to do?” he asked. “If you see a buddy, brother or sister, or mom or dad, not wearing their safety belt, you’re going to be a big boy or girl and say, ‘Hey, you forgot your belt,’ right?”
The “Saved by the Belt” club is a joint effort by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and more than 400 Ohio law enforcement agencies. It is meant to recognize people who have benefitted from their decision to wear safety belts.