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Cherokee County Sheriff's Office brings SAFE program to local sc - KOAM TV 7

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office brings SAFE program to local schools

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According to the CDC, unintentional injury by motor vehicle remains the #1 killer of children ages 5 to 14 in the United States. Many of those fatalities involve children not wearing seatbelts. But In Cherokee County, a special campaigned aimed at bringing awareness to seatbelt usage is being used, and officials hope it also makes the roads a little more safe.

"Over the course of the last several years we've seen seatbelt usage rates steadily increase here in Cherokee County as well as not only the region, but  you can attribute it to a lot of the counties that have implemented the safe program." says Sheriff David Groves.

Cherokee county's "seatbelts are for everyone" program, otherwise known as "SAFE", travels from different schools using this simulation chair.

Principal of Highland Elementary School in Columbus, Amber Wheeler says "They got to wear their seatbelts, and I heard all sorts of stories about who wore seatbelts and why you should wear seatbelts, and who didn't wear seatbelts and how they got in trouble. Our kids love to tell stories, so they were excited to get to be apart of that program."

Cherokee County School Resource Officer Justin Noel brought the chair into the program with the help of numerous donations, and says having kids practice wearing their seatbelts through hands on demonstrations helps them remember the bigger goal.

"We thought it be neat to time them when they were doing it, and on the average out of 150 students, we ran about 3 seconds. It takes 3 seconds to put their seatbelt on." he says.

And the chair isn't the only tool helping students understand the importance of seatbelt usage. Each day of the campaign the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office will have additional deputies on scene of school districts making sure students are always wearing their seatbelts."

"We may see the same number of crashes, but we don't necessarily see the same severity of injuries and or the frequency of serious injury and death that we might have seen several years before." says Groves.

Cherokee County continues the safe campaign through March 7th.

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