Two accidents, just days apart, highlight need for seatbelt enfo - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Two accidents, just days apart, highlight need for seatbelt enforcement

Mississippi State Highway Patrol spokesperson Chase Elkins said, "There aren't any fatalities that we have to pull bodies out of a car and unbuckle them first. They're already unbuckled if they're fatal." (Photo source: WLOX) Mississippi State Highway Patrol spokesperson Chase Elkins said, "There aren't any fatalities that we have to pull bodies out of a car and unbuckle them first. They're already unbuckled if they're fatal." (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

Investigators say none of the seven passengers in Saturday's triple fatal George County crash was wearing a seatbelt.

"Words can't describe the scene of what happened; it's hard to put into words," said Jeffery Graham, who manages a business on Hwy 198 near the scene of the accident. "Our prayers are with the families who lost loved ones. No one deserves to lose lives. We as a community are coming together, to be here for the families."

Just a few days after the fatal accident, another crash scene at Highway 605 and Three Rivers Rd. also showed the consequences of not wearing seatbelts - a woman and child were ejected from their car.

"State law says that driver and front passenger in every vehicle have to have their seatbelts on," Mississippi State Highway Patrol spokesperson Chase Elkins said. "There aren't any fatalities that we have to pull bodies out of a car and unbuckle them first. They're already unbuckled if they're fatal."

Currently, state law doesn't require backseat passengers who are over 12 to wear a seatbelt. But that may be changing, just this month the Mississippi Senate passed a bill to amend the state seatbelt law. It would require every passenger to be buckled up when the vehicle is in use. That bill is now awaiting the governor's signature to become law.

"Absolutely seat belts save lives. That's why we enforce it so hard," Elkins said. "Someone thinks it's just a simple seat belt ticket and they're going less than a mile down the road, but a lot of these big accidents involve people that aren't going very far."

Remember, children under age four must be in a car seat, and after that a booster seat. Once a child reaches age seven, weighs at least 65 pounds, and stands 4'9", they can ride in the backseat of a vehicle using a regular seatbelt.

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