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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.
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
12 East Delano Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36105