JEFFERSON CITY -Seat belts save lives. Over the last three years (2009-2011), 254 teens were killed in Missouri traffic crashes. 75 percent of Missouri teens killed in traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts. In addition to potentially saving your life, wearing your seat belt could have a second payoff. Three hundred winners at high schools around the state will receive a $15 iTunes gift card when they are spotted buckled up.
Here's how it works: 175,000 window clings were distributed at Missouri high schools in preparation for an unannounced Seat Belt Spotter Day in March. Teams of spotters will be out looking for 300 random teens wearing their seat belts and prominently displaying a seat belt window cling.
Seat Belt Spotter Day is part of the youth seat belt campaign that kicks off this month. The campaign includes a combination of education and enforcement. Law enforcement will be out in full force March 15-31 to crack down on unbelted teenage drivers.
Under the Graduated Driver License Law, teens are required to wear their seat belt and it's a primary offense, meaning they can be pulled over solely for not wearing their seat belt. Teen seat belt use in Missouri is only 67 percent, much lower than state (79 percent) and national (85 percent) seat belt use.
"Young people are inexperienced and substantially over-involved in traffic crashes. Without a seat belt, the combination can be deadly," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Seven out of ten teens killed in Missouri traffic crashes were not wearing a seat belt."
Visit saveMOlives.com to find out more information. Buckle up and Arrive Alive.