State Campaign Urges Pick Up Drivers to Buckle Up

May 3, 2005--Posted at 5:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO--If you drive a pick up truck, State Troopers want your attention.

They say Arkansas truck drivers are a big reason the state has so many traffic deaths.

"I'm only going a block or two," a driver says.

Out of the five pick up truck drivers we talked to, only one was strapped.
"I think it saves lives," a driver says.
State Trooper Doug Thomas agrees...he see's the impact first hand.
"About half of our fatalities involve pick ups without the seat belts," Thomas says.
The reason for the high number of unbelted pick up truck drivers is a mystery.
But what we do know is that Arkansas ranks below the national average in seat belt usage at only 64 percent . That's compared to an 80 percent usage rate nationally.
"We have a lot more pick ups here than you would have in the big city states or even in Little Rock," Thomas says.
Which could explain the higher number of unstrapped truck drivers.
All the more reason state officials are starting a brand new ad campaign called "Buckle Up In Your Truck".
"I think it's just going to put more attention in the media so that the public knows what's going on," Thomas says.
they hope drivers get the message.
Arkansas isn't the only state being targeted in this campaign. New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas join us on the list.