Peter Tavernakis, 33, of Camden and Jason Smalley, 31, of Warren were recently awarded the 2010 Saved by the Belt Seatbelt Award by Lincolnville Police Chief Ron Young. Tavernakis and Smalley were selected as recipients’ by Young for wearing their seatbelts when they were involved in a serious personal-injury traffic accident collision in Lincolnville in August 2010.

On Aug. 20, at approximately 11 a.m., Young was called to Atlantic Highway for a three-vehicle collision.

Tavernakis was the operator of a 2006 Ford van and Smalley was a passenger. Tavernakis had stopped in the southbound lane, waiting to turn left into the Inn at Sunrise Point, when he looked in his rear-view mirror and saw a dump truck coming toward the van at a high rate of speed. He and Smalley braced themselves for the impact. After the dump truck hit the van, it crossed into the opposite lane and struck another vehicle.

Camden First Aid arrived and three people, including Smalley, were taken to Penobscot Bay Medical Center for treatment of injuries and later released.

The driver of the dump truck was charged with operating under the influence and driving to endanger.

Saved by the Belt is a national and local program that recognizes individuals on an annual basis who were involved in a serious traffic accident and who had been wearing their seatbelt, and in which the seatbelt had possibly saved their life or prevented serious injuries.

Young reminds people the significance of wearing a seatbelt and complying with the state of Maine’s primary seatbelt law, which went into effect in April 2008. Lincolnville police also participate in High Visibility Safety Belt Awareness & Education Campaigns and the National Click It or Ticket Program through grants funded by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.