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Local Television Reporter Honored for being "Saved by the Belt"

11-10-2010

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Office on Highway Safety and the North Providence Police Department today honored NBC 10 reporter Barbara Morse Silva for being “Saved by the Belt.”

“We’re here today to honor Barbara for making the choice to wear her seat belt,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Thanks to her decision, she sustained less serious injuries during her car crash and showed just how seat belts save lives.”

Silva was wearing a seat belt when she was rear ended at a red light on Saturday, October 9, 2010. Although she sustained neck injuries, without a seat belt, she could have faced more devastating trauma.

Today’s presentation marks the fourth time the Department has awarded “Saved by the Belt” certificates since the program began in 2006. “Saved by the Belt” honors belted drivers who have survived serious injuries when involved in automobile crashes that were no fault of their own.

“We are pleased that Barbara Morse Silva is here with us today because she took three seconds to buckle up,” said Colonel John J. Whiting, North Providence Chief of Police. “That’s a message that everyone should take to heart.”

According to the latest statistics, Rhode Island’s observed seat belt use rate stands at 78 percent. In 2009, restraints were not used by more than 3 out 4 passenger vehicle occupants (77% or 30 out of 39) who were killed, and for which restraint use was known. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 50 percent of those persons would be alive today if they had just buckled up.

Presently, Rhode Island has a secondary seat belt law, meaning that a motorist may be cited by law enforcement for not wearing their seat belt only if they are stopped for another offense.

Contact: Heidi Gudmundson (401) 222-1362 x. 4009

 

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Department or agency: Department of Transportation