MoDOT State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood said “Buckle Up Phone Down Day” on Friday is a day to challenge drivers to buckle up their safety belt and put their cell phone down while they’re driving.
“We have found that seven out of 10 people are using their cell phones when they’re driving and, kind of the irony… is there’s been other surveys where we’ve asked people what they think about people when they’re driving distracted and using their phones, and you get about that same percentage of people who say that they don’t want other people using their cell phones when they’re driving, but yet it’s OK for them to be using it,” Hood said. “Obviously, we all want to arrive home safe and we want to make Missouri’s roads safer, but we do need to take that personal responsibility and understand what the risks are… and make sure that we’re making the right choice.”
According to a news release from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, six out of 10 people killed in Missouri traffic crashes in 2016 were unbuckled. Since 2014, there has been a 20 percent increase in crashes involving cell phones.
Hood said they’re encouraging businesses and individuals to take the “Buckle Up Phone Down” challenge on Friday.
“We want people to understand that by buckling up and putting their phone down, even for one day, that they’re going to be doing their part to make Missouri’s roads safer,” Hood said. “Our ultimate hope is that we can turn that day into a week, a month, and eventually every trip, every time.”
You can take the challenge at modot.org.