Lifebelt designed to save lives

RALEIGH It's a $189 safety device that targets teen drivers -the ones who don't, or won't fasten their seat belts.

"My seat belt isn't on, and I'm going to try to start the car," inventor Robert Allison explained "It cranks, but it doesn't start."

His invention, the Lifebelt, disables a car engine until the driver buckles up.

"I'm going to put on the seat belt on, now the car will start," Allison said.

The Lifebelt debuted on the ABC show Shark Tank.

"Well, I think it's a good idea," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. "Especially for teenagers, people who are just starting driving. We always have people to jump in the car and take off, and we hear wrecks all the time where people are thrown from their vehicles. Just recently, we heard the same thing."

Allison said he believed installing the aftermarket Lifebelt would make any driver save his or her own life.

Some said it sounds good in theory, but would someone who has the device installed on thier car stay buckled every time, especially when they could unbuckle when the car is in motion?

"Soon as I unbuckle, the radio goes off and that alarm comes back on and that alarm stays on," Allison said.

"Riding down the road, if our radio messes up we're going to stop and pay attention," Harrison said."So yes, this would be a way of telling us we need to put the seat belt on."

Cary Driver Kimmo Hiukka said he thought Lifebelts should go into school buses too.

"Bus doesn't start until everybody wears their seat belt," he said. "So if you make it a little bigger, it might work."

Allison might go that route later, but for now he's trying to convince families worried about driver safety to consider his invention.

For more information about the Lifebelt visit

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