Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2007

Program promotes seat-belt safety

September 6, 2007

Groups including State Farm and the Lansing Police Department are teaming up to promote seat-belt awareness, and it could mean an extra buck in your pocket this weekend.

A safety belt awareness campaign called "Bucks for Buckles" is being conducted through Sunday, Sept. 9, in 38 cities across Kansas, including Lansing. Beginning today, $1 bills will be distributed by local volunteers, including Lansing police officers, to drivers who have all occupants buckled up securely in their vehicle.

Those riding unrestrained will receive educational materials about the effectiveness of seat belts and child safety seats in saving lives and reducing injuries.

"No one can predict when they will be involved in a motor vehicle crash, yet almost all of us will be involved in a serious automobile crash in our lifetime. Last year, 464 people lost their lives on Kansas roadways," said Jan Stegelman, coordinator of Safe Kids Kansas.

"The single most effective means of protecting the lives of you and your passengers is wearing seat belts and using appropriate child restraints every time you ride in the vehicle even short distances."

According to the 2006 KDOT Safety Belt survey, only 73 percent of those surveyed ages 14 and older were wearing their seat belt. This compares to the national average of 81 percent.

Last year, Kansas ranked 43rd in the nation in seat belt usage.

"It is important that Kansans get the message that seat belts save lives," stated Stegelman.

"An average of 115 people die each day in motor vehicle crashes nationally; that's an average of one death every 12 minutes. This is unacceptable."

State Farm agent Dick Cameron is helping fund the effort in Lansing.

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