|Click the video above to watch the Southeast Coalition's latest public service announcement.
While students are enjoying their summer break, the Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety is already making plans to target Missouri’s future drivers, new drivers and their parents during the next school year.
“Unfortunately, each of us probably knows someone who doesn’t wear his or her seat belt,” said Southeast Coalition Regional Coordinator Craig Compas. “And we have probably all heard the same excuses about it being uncomfortable, wrinkling their clothes or being unnecessary.”
Missouri’s seat belt use remains relatively unchanged at 79 percent, which is consistently below the national average of 87 percent.
The Coalition wants every driver to know that traveling even a short distance without a seat belt is a gamble.
“We created a public service announcement to focus specifically on seat belts,” he said. “We want teen drivers and occupants to develop a habit of buckling. We hope parents will also serve as role models.”
The Coalition decided the best way to motivate teens and their parents is through humor.
“There are already so many rules, hours of homework and various growing pains teens have to go through,” said Compas. “After a certain point, individuals tune things out. And wearing your seat belt is about more than just following the rules; it’s about living.”
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people 15 to 20 years old. In 2013, 75 percent of teen vehicle occupants (13-19 years old) killed in a crash were not wearing a seat belt.
Compas hopes that despite the PSA's humorous tone, it will get parents and teens talking about this very serious topic.
The new PSA features a dad giving his daughter and her date a very important talk before they head out. The PSA will be featured during KFVS12’s Heartland Football Fridays, as well as available on YouTube and Facebook.
Check out the latest Coalition PSA at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F2uECrHsEI&feature=youtu.be.