Parents turn grief into passion through 'Buckle Up For Bobby' campaign

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by Maggie O'Mara

NWCN.com

Posted on January 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:47 AM

MERIDIAN -- Just a few months after losing their son in rollover crash, a Meridian couple has a new passion -- promoting seat belt use.

On September 9th, Sheri and Duke Rogers' 16-year-old son, Bobby, died in a crash in the Boise foothills. He wasn't the only one lost that day. 17-year-old Tiffany Walters was also killed.

They weren't wearing seat belts.

Now, as a way to honor their son, the Rogers are working to create a non-profit called Buckle Up For Bobby.

They want to spread the message to teenagers - seat belts save lives.

"It's a community epidemic, and that's why we created Buckle Up For Bobby," said Sheri. "We had no idea the day Bobby ran out of this house and said 'bye Dad, bye Mom, I love you' that we'd never see him again."

The Buckle up for Bobby Campaign was born the day of Bobby's funeral. Sheri and Duke knew they had to do something to prevent this from happening again.

Bobby's message to buckle up is spreading. Their facebook page has over 2000 fans, and it's growing. Local high schools are taking notice too.

"Bobby was a very popular kid, he had friends in every high school in this valley," said Sheri. "The kids have come from all over to support us."

The Rogers are also working to change Idaho's seat belt laws, and get stricter penalties.

"You cannot be pulled over primarily for not wearing your seat belt," said Sheri. "We've been told by countless numbers of officers that they watch our kids drive down the road without seat belts on."

They want every teenager to take a safe driving class.

"It's called Alive at 25, and they talk about the real things our kids face when they get out on the road."

The Rogers are offering seat belt awareness programs in schools and in drivers education classes. They've also started a scholarship fund in honor of Bobby and Tiffany. They even created special bracelets that are being sold to support the cause.

For more information on Buckle Up for Bobby, including a way for your high school to win $10,000 by promoting safe driving, check out the following links:

"Act Out Loud" Competition

"Alive at 25" Safe Driving Class

"Buckle Up For Bobby" on Facebook

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