Students Reminded to Buckle Up During Teen Driver Safety Week

7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Monday, October 15 2012 Oct 15, 2012 Monday, October 15, 2012 2:59:00 PM CDT October 15, 2012 in News
By: Julia Manning

JEFFERSON CITY — National Teen Driver Safety Week began Monday, and the Missouri Department of Transportation hopes to increase awareness for teens to avoid distractions and drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of fatalities among  16 to 20-year olds in the United States.

MoDOT officials estimated 66 percent of Missouri teens drive without using their seat belts. In 2011, there were 81 teens killed in Missouri traffic crashes. MoDOT officials said the week is a great way to bring awareness on the importance of adapting safe driving habits.

"Drawing attention to teens and helping them focus on driving is very significant," Trent Brooks, MoDOT traffic engineer said. "We're dealing with students who are learning to drive and as they're learning there are risky things they do that unfortunately can result in death for that age group."

Area schools districts coordinated events to help spread awareness to their students. South Callaway High School will have a crash car on campus all week, and guidance counselor Lindsey Even said they will also use posters and announcements to raise awareness. School of the Osage High School will also have a wrecked vehicle at its homecoming parade and football game Friday. Rock Bridge High School in Columbia will have State Farm Insurance representatives give safety presentations to sophomores on Wednesday. Rock Bridge and Hickman High School will also have crash cars on their campuses during the last week of October.

Many school districts are also working with local law enforcement to have unannounced seat belt checks as part of MoDOT's "Battle of the Belt" competition. More than 47 school districts are participating in the statewide program that aims to encourage seat belt usage among students. The school that shows the highest percentage of students wearing seat belts, and the most improved, will be eligible for cash prizes. The challenge started Oct. 1 and will end Nov. 9.

MoDOT urged teens to remember these tips to stay safe while driving:

  • Obey the laws of the road
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Buckle up

For more tips about information and safe driving visit savemolives.com

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