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The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) presented the 2012 “Saved by the Belt” award to 23-year-old Lindsey Stovall of Owensboro during halftime of the University of Kentucky vs. Alabama basketball game on Jan. 21. The award recognizes Kentuckians whose lives have been saved by a seat belt when involved in a vehicle crash.
The “Saved by the Belt” award was presented by the family of Megan Miller, a teenager from Owensboro who died in March 2006 after being ejected in a vehicle crash. Megan’s friend, Lindsey, never wore her seat belt but began to buckle up after Megan’s death.
One month after Megan’s crash, Lindsey lost control of her vehicle, hit a fence and flipped twice, landing next to a telephone pole. Before she exited the vehicle, Lindsey noticed a sticker that says “Buckle Up in Memory of Megan Miller.” That sticker was given to her by Megan’s mother. It had been on her rear windshield but was now laying next to her on the floorboard.
“I walked away with a few scratches and bruises. Emergency personnel said I wouldn’t have survived if I hadn’t been wearing my seat belt,” said Lindsey. “I know Megan was with me that day. She helped save my life.”
Despite Kentucky’s primary seat belt law, statistics indicate half of those killed in roadway crashes in 2011 were not restrained. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts, when worn correctly, are proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent - and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans.
“It only takes a few seconds to fasten a seat belt. Lindsey is living proof that those seconds can mean the difference between life or death,” said KOHS Director Bill Bell. “With help from people like the Miller family and Lindsey, we hope to encourage everyone to adopt the habit of buckling up.”
A “Saved by the Belt” award recipient will be selected each year by the KOHS. If you have been saved by the belt, access the nomination form here or visit the KOHS website at http://highwaysafety.ky.gov.