Longer days and warmer weather mean summer fun is almost here. As you gear up for a weekend excursion, or maybe even a road trip with family and friends, make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up for every trip. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is joining with state and local law enforcement May 24 – June 6 in the national “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign to highlight the importance of buckling up. Along with wearing a seat belt, they want to remind motorists to slow down, put the phone down and never drive impaired. “The simplest action that can save lives on Missouri roadways is an increase in seat belt use,” said Jon Nelson, chair to the executive committee. “If we all made it a point to buckle up every time we get in a vehicle, an estimated 240 lives could be saved each year in our state. There are simply too many risks to not do so. We never know when we might encounter another driver who is traveling too fast, distracted, or impaired.” For 2020, preliminary data indicates 428 individuals killed in Missouri traffic crashes were not wearing their seat belt. It is the highest number of unbuckled fatalities in Missouri during the last 5 years and an 18% increase from the year before. Seat belt use in Missouri has consistently risen over the last two decades, but in 2020, that momentum was stopped. “Last year was challenging in many ways, and that was certainly true on our roadways,” said Nelson. “We’re hopeful this campaign will remind all Missourians there are simple things we can all do to save lives. Seat belt use is at the top of the list.” Missouri’s new strategic highway safety plan, Show-Me Zero, Driving Missouri Toward Safer Roads, identifies four key focus areas to help reduce traffic deaths, including the importance of seat belts, car seats, and motorcycle helmets. Other focus areas in the plan include distracted driving, speeding and impaired driving. For more information on the Show-Me Zero plan, and to check out the Coalition’s new video promoting the plan, visit www.savemolives.com.
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