Local student demonstrates importance of wearing seat belts to fellow peers

HARRIS — One local student is being recognized for his use of a seat belt in a recent car accident that could have cost him his life.

Bark-River Harris High School Junior, Mason Korhonen was involved in a serious car accident back in January, because he was wearing his seat belt he only sustained minor injuries. He was chosen to receive the Saved by the Belt award for wearing his seat belt and is now influencing his classmates to do the same.

The Saved by the Belt award is not a certificate rewarding drivers for safe behaviors or for following the law, but a way of demonstrating positive reinforcement to fellow peers.

“With the young drivers, I think listening to someone that has been in an experience like Mason went through sends it home a little bit more. I think the listen a little bit more to their fellow classmates, instead of listening to somebody of the authority figure sometimes,” said Michigan State Police Gladstone Post Sgt. Mark Erickson.

In the accident Mason was involved with; his vehicle left the roadway and struck several trees. According to Sergeant Erickson, he could have easily been ejected from the vehicle or at the least, been violently tossed around the inside of the car.

Mason had the chance to share his story with fellow classmates today.

“Basically I survived my crash because I was wearing my seatbelt and I would have been in a lot worse of situation if I wasn’t. It’s basically my way of telling everyone to wear their seatbelts because it saved my life,” said Saved by the Belt Award Participant.

Anyone who was recently saved by the use of their seat belt in a serious vehicle accident is eligible to apply for the Saved by the Belt certificate at anytime of the year. You can find that application bu clicking here.