More Big-Rig Drivers Buckling Up
JEFFERSON CITY - The results of the 2010 Missouri Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Survey are in. The overall seat belt usage went up from 73.4 percent in 2008 to 80.6 percent in 2010. Though policies require seatbelts for all vehicles, truckers pay steeper consequences than other drivers for not buckling up.
Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's Melissa Black says truckers get a bigger fine and can be pulled over for not wearing seatbelts. Other drivers in smaller vehicles get a smaller fine and must be doing something else wrong for an officer to stop them.
Missouri Truckers Association's Tom Crawford says truckers are evaluated on how often they follow seatbelt policy among other rules.
"They are given a grade card, if you will, on what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong and those grades are used to affect their paycheck," Crawford said.
We spoke with several truckers near Columbia who agreed that it wasn't the risk of getting a ticket that encouraged them to buckle up. They said they wear seatbelts primarily for safety reasons.
Although truckers in Missouri are improving their seatbelt usage numbers, the state as a whole still has a ways to go.
"Unfortunately we're still behind as a state overall because the national average is 85 percent," Black said.