Recent Deadly Crashes Emphasize Importance of Seat Belt Safety 

The easiest part of the course at King’s Bucksport Driving School can be the hardest concept to grasp for people getting behind the wheel.”They have this sense of it’s not going to be them,” said instructor, Dan King.Seat belts first is the lesson he preaches.”It’s the first thing they learn when they come in the class,” said King.But it’s not always followed. We checked with his students to see if the message is clicking.”Yes,” said Tiffanie Bridges, a sophomore who has her learner’s permit. Her classmate, Josh Gray, agreed and told us he looks out for anyone he is riding with. “I do. I make sure everybody else does, too,” said Gray.But student Nic Bishop wasn’t afraid to be honest with us about forgetting.”No, it’s just not the first thing that comes across the mind,” said Bishop.His answer could explain statistics from the state Bureau of Highway Safety. Their numbers show almost half of the deadly car accidents in Maine in 2011 involved drivers or passengers who weren’t wearing seat belts.To date this year, there have been 18.Friday, police said a Glenburn art teacher killed in a Bangor crash was most likely not wearing hers.Sunday, two people who died in an accident in Trenton weren’t buckled in either.And on this past News Years Eve, police said two people who were killed in a crash in Gardiner were riding without seat belts.According to the state Violations Bureau, there have been more than 8,000 seat belt violations in Maine in the last year.Bangor police officials told us you can get fined anywhere from $70 to more than $300, if you’re caught without yours on.