He only took off his seatbelt for a split-second, but it was long enough for the car to flip and render him quadriplegic for the rest of his life, Kiley Geddie said yesterday.
The pain didn’t end there, he added.
The then-27-year-old spent the next year fighting for his life on a breathing machine. He was forced to re-learn how to eat and breathe again. His mother attempted suicide and his fiancée left him.
“Every aspect of my life and the lives of my family and friends was affected by this,” said the 32-year-old.
The former construction worker says it all could have been avoided had he been wearing his seatbelt.
The RCMP, along with the Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs, have launched an “ugly” campaign to promote seatbelt use.
Drivers will be faced with images of a severely injured man with facial lacerations on billboards, in hopes people will remember to buckle up.
“Graphic images are sometimes necessary to generate attention and motivate people to change their behaviour,” said RCMP Insp. James Stiles. “Our police officers are far too familiar with scenes that are depicted in these graphic images and far worse.”
Currently, 82 per cent of Albertans wear seatbelts, which means one in five still don’t recognize hazards, or choose to ignore them, Stiles said, adding more than half those killed in crashes on Alberta roads each year aren’t wearing seatbelts.
The campaign goal is to see 95 per cent of Albertans wearing seat belts by 2010, he added.