September 18, 2014

Elyria
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Students buckle up with the Crushers

AVON — Middle school students at Wednesday’s Lake Erie Crushers game got a lesson in seat belt safety from the Lorain County Safe Community Coalition.

Middle school students spin a wheel for prizes at the Lorain County Safe Community Coalition’s table at the Lake Erie Crushers game Wednesday. The Safe Community Coalition is advocating the importance of wearing a seat belt during Click it or Ticket Week. Manning the wheel is Lorain County sheriff’s Deputy Mike Walker. (CT photo by Chelsea Miller.)

Middle school students spin a wheel for prizes at the Lorain County Safe Community Coalition’s table at the Lake Erie Crushers game Wednesday. The Safe Community Coalition is advocating the importance of wearing a seat belt during Click it or Ticket Week. Manning the wheel is Lorain County sheriff’s Deputy Mike Walker. (CT photo by Chelsea Miller.)

About 5,000 students from local schools attended the game as part of a Kids’ Day promotion at All Pro Freight Stadium.

Kate Walsh, director of promotions for the Crushers, said the game was a fun event to end the school year. Walsh said it was the first time that the Safe Community Coalition set up a table at the game for Click it or Ticket Week, which began May 20 and runs through Sunday.

The annual Click it or Ticket crackdown has resulted in more than 3 million seat belt citations the last five years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The association attributes seat belt safety to lives saved.

If all passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older had worn seat belts, an additional 3,341 lives could have been saved in 2010 — more than twice the lives lost on the Titanic, according to NHTSA.

That’s why wearing a seat belt is so important, said Katie Bevan and Ali Cariglio, health educators at the Lorain County General Health District.

“It’s a reminder to create that constant awareness to wear a seat belt,” Cariglio said of Wednesday’s event.
Cariglio and Bevan were on hand during the game to teach the students the importance of wearing a seat belt through games and demonstrations.

As part of the campaign, Crushers fans had the opportunity to pledge to buckle up, watch Stomper, the team’s mascot, get buckled up on the field and test their safety IQ with games.

Students won prizes and received stickers for their participation.

Bevan said the idea is to instill the habits at a young age so they will continue into adulthood.

According to an official statewide seat belt survey, Lorain County drivers and passengers are already making buckling up a habit.

The 2012 survey revealed that 80 percent of Lorain County residents used a seat belt, an increase of 7 percent from the previous year, according to the Lorain County General Health District.

Cambrie Brown, Jacqueline Butcher and Siera Baker, students at Nord Middle School in Amherst who attended Wednesday’s game, said they always wear a seat belt when traveling in a vehicle.

When asked why, Brown said, “So if you get in a crash, you don’t go through the windshield.”

Of all passenger vehicle occupants ejected from their vehicles, 77 percent suffered fatal injuries, according to NHTSA.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.