Safekids Logo

1000 SW Jackson Suite 230
Topeka, KS 66612-1274
(785) 296-1223
(785) 296-8649 (FAX)

Jan Stegelman

Executive Committee:
Randall Bolin

Dennis Cooley, MD
Medical Advisor
American Academy of
Pediatrics, Kansas

John Drees
Douglas County
SAFE KIDS Coalition

John Halbran
Kansas Safety Belt
Education Office

Jim Keating
Kansas State
Firefighters Association

Elena Nuss
Kansas State
Fire Marshal's Office

Cindy Samuelson
Kansas Hospital Association

For Immediate Release:
August 31, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Bucks Rewarded to Drivers Who Buckle Up

Safe Kids Kansas, State Farm and KDOT partner up for safety message

Thousands of vehicles will be traveling the Kansas roadways beginning this holiday weekend. Many families will head out on one last camping trip or getaway as the school year begins. Safe Kids Kansas, State Farm Companies and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) want to encourage families drivers and passengers to buckle up and drive safely to protect their most valuable asset, their families.

This week, Beginning Friday, August 31 st through Sunday, September 9 th, a safety belt awareness campaign called “Bucks for Buckles” is being held in 38 cities across Kansas. $1 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 a serious automobile crash in our lifetime. Last year, 464 people lost their lives on Kansas roadways,” said Jan Stegelman, Coordinator of Safe Kids Kansas. “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 2006 KDOT Safety Belt survey, only 73 percent of those surveyed ages 14 and older, older were wearing their seat belt. This compares to the national average of 81 percent. Last year, Kansas ranked 43rd in the nation in seat belt usage.

“It is important that Kansans get the message that seat belts save lives,” stated Stegelman. “An average of 115 people die each day in motor vehicle crashes nationally; that’s an average of one death every 12 minutes. This is unacceptable.”

Thirty-eight cities in Kansas will be participating this year in the campaign. For a list of participating cities, see the attached file.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide , a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information visit