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Seat Belt Safety Course Starting in Robeson County

LUMBERTON – A unique program that seeks to educate people about the dangers of not wearing seat belts starts this month in Robeson County.

The program allows people cited for not wearing a seat belt to have the ticket dismissed by the Robeson County District Attorney, if they complete a free, two-hour course at Southeastern Health. 

People, however, may have their seat belt citation and fine waived only once through the program.

Robeson County officials are hopeful the program will reduce the number of people killed because they weren’t wearing a seat belt during a crash.  

Many law enforcement agencies in Robeson County have agreed to begin issuing more seat belt tickets in conjunction with the classes. Those agencies also will hand out a rack card/flier explaining how people can avoid the citation, if they complete the course, which is called Saved By the Belt: Safety Class.

In the classroom, people will learn the physics behind a crash, the causes of most crashes, the laws in North Carolina and myths about seat belt use.

“We want people to realize how deadly not buckling up can be if you’re in a vehicle crash,” said Skyla Pryor, the grant program coordinator for Southeastern Health.

In Robeson County, 82 people who did not use a seat belt or child car seat were killed in crashes between 2014-18.

The District Attorney’s Office used to offer the course, but it was canceled several years ago due to budget constraints. Bringing the course back was a priority of the Robeson County Vision Zero Task Force, a group of community and organizational leaders committed to reducing traffic facilities.

On average, 45 people are killed each year in vehicle crashes in Robeson County – and most of the deaths are the result of speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving or failing to wear a seat belt.

In May, the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program awarded Southeastern Health a $44,740 grant to launch the safety classes. (The original grant amount was later revised.) It’s the only such grant in the state. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program is a division of the N.C. Department of Transportation, which is assisting the task force.

The first safety class tentatively will be offered Sept. 21 based on sign-ups. More classes will become available as demand for them picks up. People may register by going to and looking under the “calendar of events” tab. Alternatively, people may call 910-671-5000, ext. 1192, to schedule a class.


9/16/2019 9:59 AM