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Authorities Highlight Seat Belt Safety, “Click It or Ticket” Campaign

Dr. Don Penny
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

Motorists may be able to evade the laws of state and local governments, despite the major “click it or ticket” effort by police and highway patrolmen in the next few weeks.

But no one escapes the laws of physics, a neurosurgeon said at a press conference at Casper City Hall on Tuesday.

Dr. Don Penny of the Wyoming Medical Center said the legendary physicist Sir Isaac Newton’s 17th century’s ideas on motion and energy still work, often tragically, in our 21st century vehicles.

Penny has seen those results when victims of car and truck crashes arrive for trauma care at the emergency room because a vehicle collision is actually three or four collisions, he said.

The first collision occurs when the vehicle is hit or hits another object whether moving or stationary, Penny said.

The second happens when the people inside the vehicle keep moving until they hit something such as a windshield or are ejected and hit the ground.

The third occurs when the people stop moving but their organs do not.

And the possible fourth collision happens if other people are in the car and they collide with each other, he said.

“Energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred,” Penny said, citing Newton.

If worn, seat belts absorb that energy, he said.

If not, that energy causes death, brain and spine injury, loss of limbs and a host of other injuries.

The Wyoming Seat Belt Coalition, working with multiple law enforcement agencies want motorists to know that, too, preferably by education, but by a citation if necessary, they said of the upcoming “click it or ticket” mobilization from May 19 through June 1.

Casper Police Sgt. Pete Abrams said the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promotes the mobilization with media campaigns.

After that, local and state law enforcement agencies have budgeted money to put officers on the streets and highways, Abrams said.

“We have scheduled hundreds of hours of additional law enforcement efforts from the 19th through the first of June,” he said.

“On your way to Alcova you’re going to encounter additional highway patrolmen, additional Natrona County deputies, throughout the city of Casper and the metro area, Mills and   Evansville we’re going to have additional officers that are out there just to do traffic enforcement,” Abrams said.

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