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Mr. Belding in Boise? The Boise Hawks have a surprise for ‘Saved by the Bell’ fans

When Boise Hawks fans wake up in the morning on July 21 and the alarm gives out a warning, the Idaho Transportation Department wants drivers to know that wearing a seat belt is the safest way to make it on time.

In conjunction with ITD, the Hawks are holding a Saved by the Belt Night next Saturday at 7:15 p.m. when the Hawks take on Everett. The event’s goal is to promote safe driving and will feature Dennis Haskins, who played high school principal Mr. Belding on the cult favorite ‘90s television show “Saved by the Bell.”

Right now, Idaho is in the 100 Deadliest Days, a period when a high percentage of Idaho’s fatal vehicle accidents occurs. Of 244 fatal accidents in 2017, reports showed that 90 (37 percent) came during the period, which spans from Memorial Day to the end of Labor Day.

Hawks players will wear special jerseys featuring seat belts across the front; some of the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with the proceeds going to Saint Alphonsus’ refugee program.

“We wanted to do something innovative with the Hawks. We had taken notice that they had put various prints on their jerseys,” said Ken Corder, ITD’s Office of Highway Safety director of communications. “Wouldn’t it be kind of cool to put a seat belt?”

The Hawks were already planning to have Haskins as a celebrity guest, according to Hawks Assistant General Manager Mike Van Hise . When the team was approached by ITD about sponsoring a safety event, the combination made perfect sense, he said.

Haskins will also be doing radio appearances throughout next week and will be available on game day for autographs and meeting fans. He will also throw out the first pitch.