Alabama unrestrained road fatalities fall slightly for July '13 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AL unrestrained road fatalities fall slightly for July '13

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

MONTGOMERY – Crash activity reports from the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) show the number of people who died in vehicle crashes where seat belts were available and were not wearing seat belts decreased slightly from last month. However, the number of victims not restrained has risen in the summer months of June and July.

According to preliminary traffic crash data, there were 47 people killed in vehicle crashes investigated by state troopers in Alabama in July 2013 compared to 58 in June. Of that number, 37 were in vehicles where seat belts were available, and 24 victims were not wearing seat belts, down from 27 in June.

Three of the victims were riding in the back of pickups involved in two separate crashes. The three victims were between the ages of 13 and 21 and are not included in the unrestrained data because restraints are not available in the bed of a pickup. However, being unrestrained in the back of a pickup or most motor vehicles is illegal in Alabama if under the age of 15.

"In Alabama, buckling up is not merely a suggestion – it is the law," said Col. Hugh B. McCall, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the state's highest-ranking state trooper. "Drivers must ensure all occupants of motor vehicles who are younger than 15 use seat belts and/or child-restraint systems that meet applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards."

The term "motor vehicle" as used in Alabama law includes a passenger car, pickup, van (with seating capacity of 10 or less), minivan or sports utility vehicle.

The latest information from the DPS shows 296 people have been killed thus far in 2013, a decrease of five from the same time period in 2012. However, of the 296 crash victims this year, 248 were in vehicles where seat belts were available, but 149 victims were not restrained. 

Preliminary data from crashes investigated by Alabama State Troopers indicates 59 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012 were not wearing seat belts at the time of their deaths. Crash data from crashes investigated by local law enforcement won't be compiled until later this year.

DPS and ALDOT jointly release to the public each month the number of unrestrained fatalities in crashes investigated by troopers in an effort to improve seat belt use and decrease deaths on Alabama highways.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Dept. of Public Safety

 

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