Law officers from across the state gathered in Des Moines Tuesday to announce their participation in the national “Buckle Up or Pay Up” campaign. Officers will focus on finding and ticketing people who don’t wear seatbelts between May 26th and June 4th. Des Moines Doctor Steve Dawson join the cops to throw support behind their effort. He says emergency room doctors get tired of the endless train of injuries year after year from car crashes. Dr. Dawson says doctors notice that the vast majority of those who’re injured and die didn’t have their seatbelts on. Dawson says they can easily vouch for the importance of buckling up. He says they rarely see a severely injured victim of a car crash that was wearing a seatbelt, or a child that was in a car seat. Dawson says the tough part is knowing the injuries and death could’ve been prevented. He says the number one cause of death in the U.S. between six months of age and adulthood is trauma. The number one cause of death is motor vehicle crashes. Dr. Dawson says it begins to sink in that most of these are productive, normal, healthy individuals whose lives are lost in a very untimely way, and the impact is widely felt. Dawson admits that one of the first tickets he got while a youth growing up in Seattle was for not wearing a seatbelt.Dawson says he was more afraid at the time of getting a ticket than he was of dying. He says unfortunately that appears to be the case across the country. Dawson says he never forgot to put his seatbelt on after the ticket. After working in the E-R, Dr. Dawson says he feels we need to do whatever we can to get people to wear seatbelts.
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