Teens Buckle Up for Safety and Reward

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JEFFERSON CITY - High school students could get more than a safe ride for buckling up this month. Three hundred Missouri high school students could get an iTunes gift card for wearing their seat belt on Seat Belt Spotter Day.

More than 150,000 window decals were distributed to high schools arcross the state. Spotters will award three hundred teens leaving school displaying their decal and wearing their seat belt. A $15 gift card to iTunes will be given to safe drivers.

Teens are required to wear seat belts, and it is a primary offense if it is not worn. Officers could pull teen drivers over strictly for not being buckled in.

More than 250 teens were killed in Missouri during traffic accidents over the past three years. 67 percent of Missouri teens buckle up behind the wheel, fewer than the state and national average.

Sandra Hentges, Missouri Department of Transportation Outreach Coordinator, said seven out of ten teen drivers do not wear a seat belt.

"They were buckled up in a car seat as a kid," Hentges said. "Somewhere along the line they quit wearing them, so we are trying to bring that awareness back and get them to wear them."

Students will not know what day Seat Belt Spotter Day will land on. MoDOT hopes the secrecy encourages more teens to buckle up throughout the month and into the year.