Buckle up: Earn $1 and save your life – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Buckle up: Earn $1 and save your life

082614-seatbeltThousands of vehicles will be traveling the Kansas roadways during the Labor Day weekend. Many families will head out on one last camping trip or getaway as the school year begins. Safety advocates statewide are encouraging families to buckle up and drive safely to protect their most valuable asset, their families.

This year, Aug. 28 through Sept. 10, a safety belt awareness campaign called “Bucks for Buckles” is being held in 49 cities across Kansas. One dollar bills are being distributed by local volunteers 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 an automobile crash in our lifetime,” said Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas state director. “In 2014, 384 people lost their lives on Kansas roadways and 54 percent of them were unbuckled. 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 2015 KDOT Seat Belt Survey, 82 percent of those surveyed were wearing their seat belts. This compares to the national average of 89 percent. Kansas ranked 39th in belt use in 2015, among 50 states and the District of Columbia. An average of 90 people die each day in motor vehicle crashes nationally – that’s an average of one death every 16 minutes.

“Seat belts are the single most effective device you can use to save your life during a vehicle crash,” said Sage. “They also reduce your chances of having a serious injury by as much as 50 percent. It’s such a simple thing, so take your life into your own hands and buckle up.”

Site coordinator for the campaign in Osage City is State Farm agent Jodi Stark, 785-578-4525. For more information about safety belt or child safety seat use, call 785-296-1223 or visit www.safekidskansas.org.

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