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Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 12:05am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — El Paso Police are reminding the public to buckle up because it's the law and it also saves lives.
Fasten your seat belt before hitting the road. It's the first thing Charles Bearden does and today he's grateful he does. "We were rear-ended and everyone had a seat belt on,” Charles Bearden, a West El Pasoan explained.
Bearden said he, his girlfriend and her children were injured when another car rear-ended them just months ago but he also says the injuries could have been much worse. "Probably wouldn't be here talking to you right now. Probably would still be in the ER or something."
Other borderland motorists share his safety philosophy. "Because it saves lives and I'm a nurse and you see a lot of accidents, especially people coming into the ER,” Flor Fuentes, a West El Pasoan driver said.
"It's very important to keep your family safe and with all these people that are on the roads drinking and driving it's not a safe thing to do,” Luis Martinez, a West El Pasoan told us.
The El Paso Police Department said they've handed out more than 2,800 seat belt violations in 2013. "Every occupant in the motor vehicle must wear a seatbelt where a seatbelt is available,” Detective Mike Baranyay with EPPD said.
In 2014, they want to remind the public that not buckling up will cost you. It’s possibly the easiest yet most important safety measure when getting in a car. "What we're talking about here is we're not just talking about your life, we're talking about your quality of life as well. We're talking about your long-term effects of being injured in an accident or a crash,” Detective Baranyay explained.
The Texas department of Public Safety said they've issued more than 65,000 child safety seat citations in 2012.
Police also wants to remind parents about the importance of buckling up your child in a car seat or a booster seat. TXDOT explains the requirements on their website: http://txdot.gov/driver/kids-teens/safety-belts.html