Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 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 Labor Day weekend.  Many families will head out on one last camping trip or getaway as the school year begins.  Safe Kids Kansas, State Farm and the Kansas Department of Transportation want to encourage families to buckle up and drive safely to protect their most valuable asset, their families.

This year, August 30th through September 12th, a safety belt awareness campaign called “Bucks for Buckles” is being held in 43 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, 385 people lost their lives on Kansas roadways,” said Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas.  “The single most effective means of protecting the lives of you and your passengers is wearing seat belts and appropriate child restraints every time you ride in the vehicle – even short distances.”

   According to the 2008 KDOT Safety Belt survey, only 77 percent of those surveyed ages 14 and older, were wearing their seat belt.  This compares to the national average of 83 percent.  In 2008, Kansas ranked 39th in the nation in seat belt usage.

“It is important that Kansans get the message that seat belts save lives,” stated Sage.  “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.”

2009 Bucks for Buckles events will be held in forty-three cities across Kansas.  (For a list of sites and coordinators, 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, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, 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. Visit us at our website www.kansassafekids.org.