NHP Wants Drivers To Take Wearing Seat Belts Seriously - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

NHP Wants Drivers To Take Wearing Seat Belts Seriously

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The Nevada Highway Patrol sees all too often the severity of not wearing a seat belt in the event of a crash.

As the community still grieves the condition of several teenagers in a crash in Carson City last week, it's a reminder to take your seat belt seriously.

Seven teenagers were packed into an SUV in a horrible wreck along Kings Canyon Road in Carson City last Thursday. While still under investigation, five, possibly four did not have their seat belts on.

“It's tough to see somebody who would have survived who would have been unhurt or maybe minor injuries,” explained Trooper Dan Gordon with the NHP.

Seat belts make the difference, but just simply clicking in is a misconception.

“The seatbelt has got to be put on and worn in a certain way and that is the shoulder belt, it has to be snug over the shoulder and lap belt snug across your hips.”

And if you're wearing a seat belt any other way, chances are in a collision you're going to get hurt or worse.

“Some people will put their shoulder belt behind them and all you have is a lap belt. Your body is going to go forward and you'll end up eating the steering wheel."

It’s everybody in the car that needs to wear the seat belt properly. On road trips, people tend to put their feet up on the dashboard or recline their seat back to sleep. Trooper Gordon says that is very dangerous.

Wearing your seat belt is the law, but it is actually something NHP cannot initially stop drivers for. That is something NHP wants to see changed.

“We'd really like to see the seat belt law become a primary offense.”

If troopers see someone not wearing a seat belt, they look for other primary offenses to make the stop. Primary offenses include things such as expired license plate registration, cracked windshield, or failure to use a turning signal. 

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