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Safe and safe

Today is National Seat Belt Day. The world’s first seat belt law was put in place in 1970, in the state of Victoria, Australia, making the wearing of a seat belt compulsory for drivers and front-seat passengers. There were no regulations for seat belt performance in the United States until after the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 which took effect in 1968. Mandatory seatbelt laws in the United States began to be introduced in the 1980s and faced opposition just like the usage of wearing a mask today is facing opposition. Seatbelts save lives. Masks save lives.

Three weeks ago my son in law, Daniel Schwanger, was driving on Four Mile Drive in Williamsport and at the intersection of Northway Road another motorist ran a red light and crashed into his van. The van was totaled and Dan walked away without a scratch because he was wearing a seatbelt. Unbelievably, five days later Dan was driving to the Lewisburg Area High School where he teaches and his other car, a Ford Escape, was totaled when someone pulled out in front of him and turned the car 180 degrees into a tree. Again he walked away because a seatbelt saved his life.

Many years ago when I was taking my daughters to school, a policeman pulled over my car to see if I had them wearing seat belts. Of course they were. Several days later I had a very nice letter thanking me for making sure they were safe.

I thought about the hostility of many for wearing a mask and the early seat belt resistance. Wearing a mask is a different kind of “safe” but it can also save lives. My “thank you” goes to all of you who not only wear the mask but also do it without grumbling because it is the “right thing to do.”

JUDITH SHELLENBERGER

Williamsport

Submitted via Virtual Newsroom

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