Safe Kids Kansas, State Farm and KDOT partner up for safety message
Thousands of vehicles will be traveling the Kansas roadways during the Labor Day weekend. Many families will head out on one last camping trip or getaway as the school year begins. Safe Kids Kansas, (sponsored in part by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment), State Farm and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) want to encourage families to buckle up and drive safely to protect their most valuable assets, their families.
This year, August 25 through September 8, a safety belt awareness campaign called “Bucks for Buckles” is being held in 51 cities across Kansas. Dollar bills are being distributed by local volunteers to drivers who have all occupants buckled up securely in their vehicle. Those riding unrestrained will receive educational materials about the effectiveness of seat belts and child safety seats in saving lives and reducing injuries.
“No one can predict when they will be involved in a motor vehicle crash, yet almost all of us will be involved in an automobile crash in our lifetime. In 2017, 461 people lost their lives on Kansas roadways and 56 percent of them were unbuckled,” said Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “The single most effective means of protecting the lives of you and your passengers is wearing seat belts and using appropriate child restraints every time you ride in the vehicle – even short distances.”
According to the 2017 KDOT Seat Belt Survey, 88 percent of Kansans surveyed were wearing their seat belts. This compares to the national average is 90 percent. Kansas ranked 43rd in belt use in 2017, among 50 states and the District of Columbia.
An average of 102 people die each day in motor vehicle crashes nationally; that’s an average of one death every 14 minutes. “Seat belts are the single most effective device you can use to save your life during a vehicle crash,” said Sage. “They also reduce your chances of having a serious injury by as much as 50 percent. It’s such a simple thing, so take your life into your own hand and buckle up.”