JEFFERSON CITY -Summer travel season is upon us. Whether you're planning a weekend drive or that long summer trip, please protect yourself and those you love by making sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up - every trip, every time.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is joining with state and local law enforcement May 19 - June 1 in the national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign to crack down on buckling up. Missouri's seat belt usage remains relatively unchanged at 80 percent, and consistently below the national average of 87 percent.
"The best thing motorists can do to protect themselves while traveling in a motor vehicle is to buckle their seat belts and to make sure everyone else in the vehicle is buckled as well," stated Colonel Ronald K. Replogle, superintendent of the Highway Patrol. "We want to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt every time they get into a car or truck. This type of campaign and enforcement effort is just one method used to heighten awareness about the importance of wearing a seat belt and saving lives. Highway Patrol troopers will continue to take a zero tolerance approach in the enforcement of seat belt and child restraint laws throughout the year in our effort to reduce injuries and save lives."
In 2013, 757 people were killed in traffic crashes on Missouri's roadways, and 63.4 percent of those were not wearing seat belts.
"Sixty-five percent of Missouri fatalities since the first of this year have been unbuckled vehicle occupants," said Leanna Depue, chair of the coalition's executive committee. "We want to make sure everyone is buckled up - day and night."
Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities in a crash. When worn correctly, seat belts can reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent. Similarly, belt use reduces the risk of serious non-fatal injuries by 50 percent for front seat occupants.
For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit http://www.savemolives.com/, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives.