Virginia Mother Encourages Seat Belt Safety – Next week is a popular time for individuals to plan their holiday travels, but buckle up before you hit the road.
According to Virginia State Police, the majority of fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday were caused by passengers who were not using their seatbelts.
Christy King, whose son Christopher perished in an automobile accident barely two weeks after receiving his high school diploma, spoke with 10 News.
“We get that knock on the door that no parent should ever have to answer,” she said.
Christopher was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
“When the officer told us he was ejected from the car and not wearing his seat belt, we were astounded because he always wore his seat belt,” said Christy.
The number of people not wearing seat belts has increased in Virginia over the past couple of years. According to Youth Of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), 65% of teenagers killed in car crashes last year were not wearing their seatbelts.
“The general population is not buckling up as often as they used to. Virginia seat belt use rate is lower than it has been in a number of years,” said YOVASO Program Manager, Mary King.
Since her son’s death, Christy has started spreading awareness about the importance of buckling up and formed the Christopher King Foundation.
“When I’m talking to kids and adults and they start tearing up, I’m like, ‘Good, you understand. You are going to remember Christopher’s story and you are going to tell your kids, tell people that you love, because it can happen to you,’” said Christy.
Christy is also fighting to change the law.
She’s fighting to make not wearing a seat belt a primary violation as opposed to Virginia having it as a secondary, meaning law enforcement cannot pull over people for not wearing their seat belts.