Local Safety Leaders Push Importance Of Seatbelts

Local Safety Leaders Push Importance Of Seatbelts

As winter approaches, it's important drivers make sure they stay safe on the roads, starting with wearing seat belts. A recent survey shows that drivers in missouri are getting that message. However, the percentage of people using seatbelts isn't where safety leaders want it to be.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A polyester strap, better known as a seat belt, could save someone's life in the event of a car accident.

So, why doesn't everyone wear them?

"Some people are adamant about people not telling me what to do. So, I'm not going to put my seat belt on because it's my choice not to put my seat belt on," said Jackie Spainhower.

Others may think it's uncomfortable.

A recent survey shows 79 percent of drivers, in Missouri, wear seat belts.

That's below the national average of 85 percent, but local safety leaders say that's not enough.

They want every driver to buckle up.

"We have a ways to go. Certainly, we want 100 percent of the traveling public to be wearing their seat belt," said Sgt. Sheldon Lyon.

On November 25, law enforcement agencies across the state of Missouri will participate in a quarterly Occupant Protection Enforcement.

It's a campaign to remind drivers on the importance of wearing seat belts, and the consequences if caught without one on.

"If you're stopped for a traffic violation, and you're found not to be wearing your seat belt, we will write you a ticket," said Sgt. Lyon.

"The seat belt is designed to keep you in your car, safe and alert, and able to respond in a crash," said Spainhower.

Drivers can use other devices in cars to stay safe, but law officials say the seat belt takes priority.

"We have airbags, we have crumple zones in your car. But, in order for them to work correctly, you need to have your seat belt buckled," said Sgt. Lyon.

All-in-all, safety leaders want drivers to buckle up not only because it's the law, but because it saves lives.

"As a community we have to take responsibility, and put on our seat belts and set good examples for everyone, so everyone can be safe on the roads," said Spainhower.

There's been 668 fatalities, in Missouri, as of November 17 this year.

Out of those killed, 62 percent were not wearing a seat belt.

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