Click It or Ticket Campaign kicks off

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Keith Reynolds

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

ERIC BONZAR — THE MORN­ING JOUR­NAL

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....

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