Seat belts don't click with teens

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Seat belts just aren't clicking with teens.

Under the terms of the graduated driver's license law, teen drivers are required to buckle up, but studies show that nearly 34 percent of young drivers fail to make it click.

To lower that percentage, law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in an enforcement campaign between March 15 through March 31 to crack down on unbelted drivers and help save lives. The Cassville Police Department will take part in the effort.

"One in four Missouri traffic crashes involves a young driver," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Many have the attitude 'it will never happen to me,' especially teens, but fatal crashes happen every day, to all types of people."

Between 2010 and 2012, a total of 243 teens between the ages of 15 to 19 were killed in traffic crashes in Missouri. Of those, 78 percent were not buckled.

In an attempt to lower that percentage, law enforcement officials will crack down on unbelted motorists on Missouri's roadways.

"Law enforcement will ticket teens who aren't buckled up," Depue said.

Missouri will also continue education efforts to teach teens the importance of buckling up.

"The best way to reach teens is through their peers," Depue said. "We're asking teens to help save the lives of their friends by reminding them to buckle up every time they get in a car."

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