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A Belt that is more than a NH Fashion Statement

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 By Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Contact
March 20, 2007

They will be "belting it out" in New Hampshire today as debate gets underway on a bill that would require everyone to wear a seatbelt. The Granite State is the only one without such a law, and those against it say buckling up should be a personal choice, not a law. Addison Masse works for a driver's training school, and he survived a crash because he was wearing a seat belt. He says seat belt use can actually prevent crashes.

"If I were to swerve at 55-60 miles an hour, and I was not wearing a seat belt, I would not have full control of the car to bring it back into my own lane."

A survey taken last year shows about two-thirds of New Hampshire residents support a seat belt law for all (UNH Survey Center for Safe Kids NH). The proposed seat belt law has the support of the medical community, law enforcement, and insurance companies.

Masse reports that at the time of his car crash, he was under 18 and had to buckle up by law. He says back in those days, he may not have buckled up if it weren't required. That's why he supports a law that covers everyone.

"When you see the car, it's incredible that I survived. It was obviously apparent that if I was not wearing a seat belt, I would not be alive today."

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