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Seatbelts: Half Of Wreck Fatalities, People Were Unbelted

11:57 PM, Feb 28, 2013   |    comments
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Triad, NC-- Out of 76 vehicle fatalities in North Carolina in 2012, nearly half of the people were unbelted.

In four weeks, there have been four deaths: a 62-year-old man, an 18-year-old woman, a 14-year-old girl, and a 12-year-old girl. All of these deaths happened because of car crashes in North Carolina.

None of these people were wearing seat-belts.

A trooper with the NC Highway Patrol told News 2 that in his nine-county coverage area, there were 76 vehicle fatalities in 2012, 36 of the victims were not wearing their seat-belts. That's 47%.

Two weeks ago, 14-year-old Katlin Combs was riding home with a friend when an impaired driver hit their car head-on. Katlin was not wearing her seat-belt and she died.

WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford talked with Katlin's father, Jason Bates who wants all of us to learn something from his tragedy.

Bates asks the question everyday: if Katlin was wearing her seat-belt, would things have been different?

Her six siblings lost their big sister.

"People get comfortable and they overlook it. I see doing it to yourself but not a child, you know a child, you should always make sure they're strapped in safely. You know cause you never know what's going to happen," said Bates.

"My daughter wasn't wearing her seat-belt so you know, everybody please buckle their seat-belts so they'll be safe because maybe if she had it on, it wouldn't of happened," said Vickie Litteral, Katlin's mom.

There are fines, for not wearing your seat-belt.

As a driver, you can get stopped if you or the front passenger fails to buckle up. That's a $25 fine. For back-seat passengers, it's a $10 fine plus court fees.

WFMY News 2, NC State Highway Patrol

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