Safety

CDOT Tackles Teen Seat Belt Safety in Series of High School Events

September 1, 2015 - Traffic Safety - Football game takeovers to remind teens of the importance of buckling up.

STATEWIDE ­– In 2014, 35 teens lost their lives on Colorado roads. Of these, 43% were not wearing a seat belt. To raise awareness of this sobering statistic, and encourage teens to buckle up every ride, every time, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is bringing eye-catching Buckle Booths to high school football games across the state in September. This includes games in Pueblo, Brighton, Greeley, Colorado Springs and Denver.

The Buckle Booth campaign features an open-air photo booth inside football stadiums, complete with safety-related backgrounds and props, including seat belts, car seats, and steering wheels. In order to get their pictures taken, teens must pledge to buckle up every ride, every time. A street team will engage teens in conversations about seat belt safety and teens are encouraged to share their Buckle Booth photos on social media to raise further awareness of the issue. In addition, 35 black balloons will be anchored to stadium stands to represent teen lives lost in traffic-related deaths in 2014. Staged crashed cars will also be displayed on school front lawns to illustrate the consequences of not wearing a seat belt.

“Teens are forming habits now that will follow them for life,” states Sam Cole, Traffic Safety Communications Manager, CDOT. “There is a huge need to educate teens on the importance of buckling up – it is the single most important thing they can do to protect themselves in the event of a car crash. We want to ensure teens are practicing seat belt safety now, and forever.”

CDOT will bring the Buckle Booth to five strategically targeted high schools in in the state; these schools make up a sizable population of Colorado’s teens in counties known for high numbers of teen traffic-related fatalities. By encouraging sharing on social media, CDOT aims for the campaign to spread beyond these targeted schools and into the state.

“Talking about seat belt safety with teenagers isn’t always easy,” states Cole. “We want to meet teens where they are – and remind them that no one wants to miss out on making memories, especially if it’s because they weren’t wearing a seat belt.”

The primary purpose of wearing a seat belt is to protect drivers and passengers during a crash. Wearing a seat belt reduces the chance of fatal injury by 45% in a crash; drivers and passengers are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle if they do not wear a seat belt.

INTERVIEW OPPS

Sam Cole, CDOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager

BUCKLE BOOTH CAMPAIGN LOCATIONS

September 4, 2015 / Pueblo County High School, Pueblo, Colo. 7 P.M.

September 11, 2015 / Brighton High School, Brighton, Colo. 7 P.M.

September 18, 2015 / District 6 Stadium, Greeley, Colo. 7 P.M.

September 19, 2015 / Gerry Berry Stadium, 6 P.M. Colorado Springs, Colo.

September 24, 2015 / JeffCo Stadium, Lakewood, Colo. 7:30 P.M.

All opportunities are available upon request. Please contact Sam Cole, Colorado Department of Transportation (303) 757-9484 o / (303) 859-1304 c /[email protected]

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