Vail Daily column: A worthwhile selfie
This may have something to do with age, but we’re not big fans of selfies — those arm’s-length self-portraits taking up gobs of social media bandwidth. And please, don’t start extolling the virtues of the “selfie stick,” or you’ll risk being whacked upside the head with said stick.
Finally, though, there’s a selfie story worth sharing.
The Avon Police Department on April 20 launched a “seat belt selfie” project on its Facebook page. The idea is for people — in parked cars, please — to post photos of their buckled-up selves to the page, thereby encouraging others to pick up the seat belt habit.
It seems odd these days to ask people to buckle up — kids are strapped into car seats on their way home from the hospital — but seat belt use isn’t as widespread as it should be. In fact, a 2014 survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation estimated that only 76 percent of Eagle County drivers wore their belts. That’s in the bottom-10 of all Colorado counties, and well below the statewide average of 82 percent.
The reasons for not buckling up are as varied as the people who blithely ignore both the law and common sense, but the fact is that safety in a car starts with a seat belt. Airbags, anti-lock brakes and other devices are helpful, but the simple, three-point inertia-reel seat belt is the foundation of everything else. And even a crash at relatively low speeds can result in catastrophic injuries if seat belts aren’t worn.
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Combining a legitimate public-safety campaign with a social media fad seems to be a hit so far. In a span of fewer than 10 days, the Avon cops’ seat belt selfie page has more than 350 “likes.” People have posted scores of photos.
People have a good reason to post yet another selfie, and, just maybe, someone who might not otherwise have buckled up could be prompted to do so.
What’s not to like?
So kudos to the Avon police. Find their page on Facebook and like it. You never know who you might see.