A group of approximately 25 mayors have voiced their support for a campaign that encourages people to wear their seat belts and put down their cell phones while driving.
Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin spearheaded the effort to promote the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) Buckle Up/Phone Down campaign.
“There are two simple acts that can save your life, and the lives of others,” Tergin said. “Buckle up and make sure every passenger in your vehicle is buckled up. If you’re driving, put the phone down.”
Kansas City Mayor Sly James added: “Before people start driving and texting, they need to look around at every single person around them, be it passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers. They all have lives that are valuable and loved ones who care for them. When a person gets behind the wheel and sends a text or email or makes a call, they’ve decided that whatever they’re talking about is more important than the safety of the people around them. No text, email or phone call is more important than a life. That’s why I support MoDOT’s campaign to get people to buckle up and put the phone down.”
According to MoDOT, of the 688 people killed on Missouri highways in 2016, 62% were not wearing a seat belt. Missouri Highway Patrol reports that cell phones contributed to 2,470 crashes in Missouri in 2016.
Missouri is one of only 16 states with no primary seat belt law, and one of only three states without an all-driver texting ban.