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The younger students in Roane County Schools had a special visitor this week to teach them about the importance of riding in a booster seat or wearing a safety belt if they measure up.
Ollie the Otter is Tennessee's Booster Seat Education icon. Created in 2006, the Ollie Otter Booster Seat and Safety Belt Education campaign is the first statewide booster seat education program in U.S. history.
The Ollie Otter program stresses that Tennessee law requires the use of a booster seat until a child is 4 feet, 9 inches tall or 9 years old.
An orange-and-white construction site barrel, representing Ollie’s home, is on display to teach the children the importance of roadway safety, especially near construction work zones.
The fully costumed Ollie the Otter character encourages children to wear their safety belts and educates them about Tennessee’s booster seat law.
Ollie’s message to the students is “Under 4'9"- Booster Time!”
Young students at Dyllis, Kingston, Midtown, Oliver Springs and Ridge View Elementary schools, as well as little ones at Midtown Education Center, all got to meet Ollie and hear his catch phrase message.
Ollie left the students with coloring books, a measuring display and bookmarks to remind them of the importance of safety when riding in vehicles.
Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton visited the students at Midtown Education Center to help reinforce Ollie’s safety message.
Despite the campaign's growing success, one of the most critical issues affecting children's safety is the misuse or lack of use of safety belts and booster seats.
Ollie’s message is relevant to today’s families, who travel more and have more distractions when in the vehicle.
Parents can learn more about the Tennessee law and about Ollie’s message by visiting www.seatbeltvolunteer.org.