Crackdown focuses on student use of seat belts; Move seeks to reduce deaths of teen-agers on Carroll's highways


Troopers on routine patrols at and near Carroll County high schools will watch for student drivers not wearing seat belts, state police say.

This emphasis on young seat-belt violators complements school security initiatives and is aimed at preventing needless death and injury on county highways, said 1st Sgt. Dean Richardson, who oversees the resident trooper program under Lt. Terry Katz, Westminster barracks commander.

"Four teens have died in a little more than a year in Carroll County, and wearing seat belts may have prevented those deaths," Richardson said.

The most recent fatality was Braden D. Mann, 18, of Westminster, who was one of three passengers in a two-vehicle crash on Route 27 in Mount Airy. Two passengers, Cara A. Petroski of Mount Airy and Edward R. Harrison Jr., 19, of Woodbine were critically injured. None wore seat belts.

The driver, Kara E. Rogers, 18, of Westminster was wearing a seat belt and was released the same day after being treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, according to state police.

Passenger Casey Lynn Carpenter, 14, died Feb. 14 after being ejected from a car that struck a metal mail box on Bartholow Road and overturned several times.

In June 1998, teen-age cousins Jill Peay, 15, of Sykesville and Jessica Harley, 16, of Shady Side in Anne Arundel County were killed when a car in which they were passengers crashed on Monroe Avenue in Eldersburg.

"We're concerned about more and more young drivers not wearing seat belts," said Richardson. "We want the citizens of Carroll County, especially the young drivers, to be aware we are trying to look out for them. If they don't buckle up, our troopers will be stopping them."

Checking on security at all county schools is a continuing program, he said.

Troopers from the Westminster barracks are encouraged to monitor schools throughout the county, especially during the hours of transition, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Richardson said.

"As they travel to and near all county schools, troopers in marked units will be watching for school bus violators. Drivers who unlawfully pass a school bus that stops to load or unload school children will be issued a citation," Richardson said.

"Closely monitoring the schools during these times also makes citizens aware that we care about students and want to help keep their environment safe," he said.

Pub Date: 9/07/99

An article about a crackdown on teen-agers who don't use seat belts in yesterday's Carroll County edition of The Sun should have said Edward R. Harrison Jr., 19, of Woodbine died five days after being critically injured in a July 14 traffic accident in Mount Airy. The Sun regrets the error.
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