You can be a lifesaver

A little girl takes candy from a construction hat, held by a police officerWear a seat belt. Save a life. 

That’s the message representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Mt. Lebanon police wanted to impart on students and parents at Washington Elementary on Wednesday. 

A close up of a "Thank you! You're a lifesaver" announcment.Standing in front of the school as kindergarteners met up with their parents shortly after 11 a.m., officers reminded youngsters to wear their seat belts this summer and handed them a piece of paper with a Life Savers hard candy attached that read: “Thank you! You’re a lifesaver.” 

“It’s the summer season, so people are going to be on the road a lot more. They’re going to be doing summer vacations and we want to make sure that we’re leaving these kids as they head to summer break with a nice safety message,” said Yasmeen Manyisha, safety press officer at PennDOT. 

“We’re being proactive,” Manyisha continued. “We want them to be safe, have a great summer season, and we want them to come back to school next year nice and healthy and the first way to do that is to wear your seat belt.” 

According to PennDOT, in 2021 there were 12,672 vehicle crashes in Pennsylvania where at least one occupant was not wearing a seat belt.  

Pennsylvania’s primary seat belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 years old to buckle up. Children under the age of 4 must be properly restrained in an approved child seat and children under 2 years of age must be securely fastened in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. 

Drivers and front seat passengers 18 and older are required to buckle up. Motorists who are stopped for a traffic violation can receive a second ticket and fine if they are not wearing a seat belt. 

This event was a part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign, which runs through June 5.

A little girl takes a piece of candy from a police officer