Taking safe steps can prevent some tragedies

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We were all young once and we’ve all done things we’ve regretted.

Unfortunately for several local teenagers and families, that regret has had life-changing and life-ending consequences.

In the most recent case, two young girls who were out being teens without their parents’ knowledge were tragically killed.

Two other teens were severely injured less than a month ago and are facing some paralysis at the moment.

Three more teens suffered minor to moderate injuries and lifelong mental scars.

Whether these seven young people knew each other or not, they’ve been brought together in the community’s eye through tragedy.

But one common “what if” remains in the wreckage. Could these accidents have been prevented?

Maybe.

Some folks have pointed blame; doing that does little good.

But law enforcement officers who worked both scenes report that none of the severely injured were wearing seat belts.

It sounds simplistic, even trite in the wake of horrible losses the families have suffered, but if anything is to be learned from this situation, it’s that we all must teach our children to buckle up — always and without fail.

When those habits are formed early, teenage exuberance and even underage alcohol usage won’t dull the trained behavior that a seat belt is always worn.

Our community has had far too many tragedies involving our young people lately and we hope we have seen the last such tragedies for a long, long time.