Kids buckle up with governor in TV spot

September 30, 1997


Staff Writer

Three Washington County youngsters will help spread the word about Maryland's tougher seat belt safety law by appearing in a public service announcement with Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening.

Amanda Harsh, Maggie Harmon and Matthew Weber traveled to the Towson, Md., area Monday to film the TV spot with Glendening.

During the taping, the three youngsters sat in miniature cars trucked in from Children's Village of Washington County while Glendening talked about seat belt use, officials said.


As part of the spot, Amanda Harsh, 9, chimes in and tells Glendening that she always uses her seat belt when she is in a car.

"I was kind of nervous, but it was fun," said Amanda, daughter of Harry and Angie Harsh of Hagerstown.

Until today, law enforcement officials could ticket drivers who were not wearing their seat belts only if they pulled them over for another traffic offense. As of today, failure to wear a seat belt is a "primary offense," meaning police can issue citations to motorists solely because they are not belted in.

The local children were picked to do the television announcement with Glendening after other public service announcements on seat belt safety were taped at Children's Village on Sept. 4 and Sept. 19, said Marsha Tiddler, executive director of Children's Village.

Glendening and the three children filmed the TV spot in the parking lot of St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Hillendale, east of Towson, said Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.

The Children's Village cars were taken to the location last Friday, and on Monday, State Trooper Russ Plante drove Tiddler and the three youngsters to the church for the filming, Tidler said.

"All three kids did a good job. They put in a long day," Shipley said.

In the TV spot, Glendening talks about his own experience with seat belts.

On Feb. 18, the car in which Glendening was riding collided with another car. Glendening, who walked away with only a bruise on his knee, said his injuries would have been more serious had he not been wearing his seat belt, according to Shipley.

Shipley said it will take about a week to finish producing the TV spot, after which it will be distributed to television stations across the state for broadcast.

Harmon, 5, is the daughter of Bobby and Alicia Harmon of Clear Spring. Weber, 8, is the son of Melissa and Mark Weber of Hagerstown.

The Herald-Mail Articles