Click It or Ticket Campaign kicks off
Safety forces across Lorain County gathered May 17 to kick off the annual National Click It or Ticket campaign.
The campaign seeks to urge drivers and passengers to always wear their seat belts when in a motor vehicle.
The event took place at Ali’s Sunoco, 979 N. Leavitt Road in Amherst, and featured a wrecked car, a prize wheel and free pizza supplied by Domino’s.
Kat Evers Solove, a health education specialist with the Lorain County Safe Community Coalition and Lorain County Public Health, started the afternoon off by sharing the importance of using a seat belt every time one gets into a vehicle.
“In Lorain County, in 2017, 17 of the 34 fatal crashes didn’t involve a seat belt,” Solove said. “So far, in 2018, three out of the six crashes have not involved a seat belt.
“That’s something very important to our coalition and we wanted to remind everyone to wear your seat belt every trip every time.”
Lorain County Community College student Brandi Cobb, 17, shared her story of having her life saved by a seat belt during a head-on collision in November 2017.
“It was Nov. 13 of last year, I was on my way to school and I thought it was just a regular Monday morning,” Brandi said.
She said she, a friend and her boyfriend were running a little late when they drove on Gulf Road on their way to school.
They were approaching the Fullerton Road intersection when a car traveling in the opposite direction went left of center and struck their car head-on.
“It was about 7:45 a.m., I remember the time exactly because we were just listening to music on our way to school and I was looking at the time because we needed to be at school at 8 a.m.,” Brandi said. “It happened so fast and I froze. There wasn’t anything I really could have done.”
She said when she regained consciousness, she attempted to get out of her door but it was so damaged it wouldn’t open.
Her friend was able to open her rear passenger door and the two were able to escape the car. Her boyfriend was pinned in the passenger seat because the engine had been pushed into the car by the impact.
“As soon as I moved my body from when the accident had happened, I knew something was wrong with my ankle,” Brandi said. “So, I laid there and there were many bystanders already there.
“It was kind of amazing how many people were trying to help us and giving us blankets and towels, and people coming from their houses.”
Brandi came away from the crash with a shattered heel and a broken ankle; her friend broke her jaw; and the boyfriend also had a broken ankle.
“Today, we are all good and we’re healthy and we’re still recovering a little bit from our injuries, but we all had our seat belts on and it saved our lives,” she said.
Amherst police Lt. Mark Cawthon also addressed the crowd and shared information about seat belts.
“I know in Amherst, we’ve had four fatalities over the last three years and out of those four, three were unbelted folks,” Cawthon said. “Had they been belted, there’s a good possibility they’d be here with us.
“Again, there’s stats throughout the country that support wearing a safety belt.”
Cawthon said his 17- and 11-year-old children automatically put their seat belts on as soon as they enter a car.
“It is a learned behavior for them,” he said. “It’s something that we taught them growing up.
“So, I think this Click It or Ticket campaign kicking off with our officers focusing specifically on safety belt violations, it’s going to bring awareness to this and the importance of buckling up each and every time, day or night.”
“Today, we are all good and we’re healthy and we’re still recovering a little bit from our injuries, but we all had our seat belts on and it saved our lives.”
— Brandi Cobb, a 17-year-old Lorain County Community College student
The Lorain County Safe Community Coalition held its National Click It or Ticket campaign kick-off May 17, at Ali’s Sunoco, 979 N. Leavitt Road in Amherst. During the event, representatives unveiled new gas pump toppers to raise seat belt awareness....