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It pays to wear your seat belt

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    Matt Hiscock, Wadsworth safety services director, center, and Wadsworth police Officer Adam Innocenti hand a ticket to a Wadsworth High School student who was wearing his seat belt Thursday morning.

    ASHLEY FOX / GAZETTE

About 400 tickets were issued to students who drove to Wadsworth High School on Thursday morning, but for good reason.

The “tickets” — coupons for an Icee treat at the Burger King in Wadsworth — were presented to teen drivers who were wearing a seat belt as they entered campus.

The event, part of the Buckle Up for Burgers campaign by the Medina County Safe Communities Coalition, was held just ahead of prom season and graduation.

Members of law enforcement had fun at the event as students groggily pulled up to the entrances of their assigned parking lots between 7 and 7:30 a.m., looking confused at the officers stationed to check every car.

Medina County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Schmoll and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 204 member Ed Gold stopped students and told them they were getting a ticket — but then added it was a reward for wearing a seat belt.

About 600 students drive to Wadsworth High School. School resource officer Adam Innocenti said about 10 drivers, including one parent, were found not to be buckled.

“I think students appreciate getting awarded for things they already do,” Innocenti said.

The Safe Communities Coalition also distributed about 400 bags containing statistics on teen driving and other resources, said Jessica Miles, project director for the group.

Others who came to “ticket” student drivers were officers from the Brunswick Hills Township and Wadsworth departments, Medina County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio Highway Patrol, plus coalition members.

“This type of event is a great way to push out traffic safety issues,” Miles said.

“It’s a neat way to involve the coalition with law enforcement and school personnel, to get the message out there,” she said.

Contact reporter Ashley Fox

at (330) 721-4048

or afox@medina-gazette.com.

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