Missourians buckle up less than others across the nation

By Rebecca Lane - bio | email

KENNETT, MISSOURI (KAIT) - Missouri is trailing other states in the percentage of seat belt users.

A new statewide survey claims that 23% of Missouri motorists still choose not to buckle up.  Last year, 498 people who were killed in Missouri accidents were not wearing their seat belt.  Having only 77% of people who actually wear them regularly, Missouri comes in 7% under the national average. The same survey showed Southwest Missouri to be the lowest of the state.  Only 66% of people use seat belts. These findings surprised Lee's Summit native, Don Hamblin.

"I've seen a lot more enforcement in Missouri," he claims, "than in a lot of other states."

The Missouri Department of Transportation along with local law enforcement kicked off a pilot project to bring even more awareness to motorists.  Their focus will be on the more rural roads throughout the 10 counties in Southwest Missouri.  These counties include: Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Lawrence, Barry, Greene, Christian, Taney, Stone and Webster. This project will go through October.

©2009 KAIT

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.