The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is joining with other government agencies and traffic safety organizations around the world to mark Global Road Safety Week. MoDOT’s Melissa Black says the primary focus of the campaign, this year, is to encourage teenagers to buckle up.

Black says encouraging use of seatbelts is a huge deal in Missouri, in which motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 20. She adds about 50 percent of Missouri teens admit they don’t buckle up, pointing out the lack of seat belt use is a major reason for the high percentage of fatalities among teenagers involved in crashes.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is very active in increasing safety belt usage among teens to save lives through several programs which include: Battle of the Belt – a competition among high schools to increase safety belt use among students and potentially save lives; and the Never Made It Campaign – a series of print, radio and television ads that use realistic, chilling images of teens who "never made it" to significant milestones in their lives because they failed to wear a seat belt.

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