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Law enforcement from differing states come together in Wheeling to talk seatbelts

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Monday, law enforcement from Wheeling to Steubenville came together with a message you know all too well

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — It takes two seconds, moments that area patrols say could alter a vast majority of the crash outcomes they see on Ohio Valley roads. 

Unfortunately, you could become a projectile.

Tom Howard, Ohio County Sheriff

You’ll see more law enforcement on the road, as some extra money is coming from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And Monday at Heritage Port they’re making it known. 

“Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia all working together to try to save people’s lives,” said Sheriff Howard.

According to NHTSA stats from 2019, near 10,000 unbuckled passengers were killed in crashes in the U.S. 

In Steubenville alone, the post handles about 800 crashes a year. where Lt. Bodo says everyday they face someone not wearing their safety belt. 

A majority of the time when we do come across accident scenes; they could have been none at all or greatly reduced if they would have just had their seatbelt on.

Lt. Robert Bodo, OSHP Steubenville Post

There’s a zero-tolerance policy. In West Virginia you can be stopped just for not wearing a seatbelt. 

And, Ohio County’s sheriff says he is not above the law. 

The vehicle does not move unless everybody has a seatbelt on. I’m the same way. I have a seatbelt on no matter what.

Tom Howard, Ohio County Sheriff

A seatbelt fine in West Virginia is not that hefty, only $25. But the cost of not wearing one could be your life. 

I know it’s a huge debate between ‘It’s my civil freedoms, I’m the only one that’s being bothered.’ But, if you are someone that’s important to our community, which you probably are, we want you to buckle your seatbelt and we want you here.

Lt. Josh Sanders, Wheeling Police

With Memorial Day coming up and more people on the roads, law enforcement is giving you the heads up now to click it or you’ll get a ticket. 

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