Valdosta Daily Times

February 27, 2014

Teens injured in I-75 wreck

Adam Floyd
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Two teens were injured in a two-car accident Wednesday morning on Interstate 75 and charged with an increasingly common seatbelt violation.

At approximately 7:55 a.m., the Georgia State Patrol responded to a vehicle accident at mile marker 19 on I-75 southbound. Alvinson White, 18, of Hahira was driving a 1999 Ford Escort when he attempted to use the far left lane to pass a 2009 Lincoln Town Car in the middle lane. While attempting the pass, White ran off the outside edges of the far left apron, overcorrected by veering into the middle lane, and was struck by the Town Car, according to Sergeant L. Carl Taylor.

The Town Car’s driver, Floyd Aldridge, 76, and his passenger, Patricia Aldridge, 69, both of Lawrenceburg, Ky., were not injured in the accident. White and a passenger, Tiashja Johnson, 17, were transported for treatment of minor injuries, said Taylor.

White was charged with driving too fast for conditions and failure to maintain lane. Both White and Johnson were allegedly wearing only the shoulder strap portion of their seatbelts and not the lap belts and were charged with improper use of a seatbelt, according to Taylor.

“Our approach to wearing a seatbelt is that the law requires that a seatbelt is to be worn according to the specifications of the car’s manufacturer,” said Taylor. “The purpose of the lap strap is to keep you in position. If you don’t have it, you are less capable of maintaining control of the vehicle.”

Taylor said troopers are seeing an increase in seatbelt violations where only a shoulder strap is used, which gives the appearance that a seatbelt is being properly worn.