Seatbelt Study Could Change Law

1 decade 2 years 5 months ago Saturday, January 21 2006 Jan 21, 2006 Saturday, January 21, 2006 9:37:43 PM CST January 21, 2006 in News

Click it or ticket. It's a popular campaign slogan and it's also the law but getting people to buckle up is difficult.

"Our seatbelt usage right now in Missouri is about three quarters of people, give or take a few people each year and about two thirds of the people who die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri are not restrained by a seatbelt or car safety seat or other restraint device," said Lilliard Richardson of the MU Institute of Public Policy.

For Calvin Phillips, seatbelts are always a part of driving.

"If you don't wear your seatbelt you'll just go straight into the windshield and burst your head and get spine injuries and possibly not even walk again," Phillips said.

According to the study of nationwide data conducted by MU, young men driving pickups wear their seatbelts the least. Richardson believes changes to Missouri law could increase seatbelt usage across the boards.

"We found that if Missouri would adopt a $50 fine and primary enforcement we would expect that seatbelt usage rates would increase to about ninety percent," Richardson said.

Richardson hopes that through the study and campaigns more people will buckle up and ultimately stay safe on the road. The study also shows a key part to increasing seatbelt usage is making it a primary enforcement law, meaning the police could pull you over if they don't see you wearing one.

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