Topeka, KS– The Kansas Department of Transportation is encouraging everyone to think safety first when getting into a vehicle and participate in Buckle Up Phone Down Day (BUPD), which is being recognized today, Oct. 21.
Drivers will see increased enforcement of occupant protection and texting laws across the state. The goal is to bring awareness to these two simple actions – buckling up and putting the phone down –to help reduce traffic fatalities.
“Kansans, please join me in this easy, but critically important lifesaving challenge today and every day,” said KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Buckle up, put the phone down and arrive safely every trip, every time.”
KDOT accepted the challenge from the Missouri DOT, which is encouraging all state DOTs to join in the BUPD goal of a day with zero fatalities on the nation’s roadways. Across the U.S., more than 42,000 people died in crashes in 2021, an average of about 117 lives lost every day. And about 50% of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
In Kansas, 426 people died in Kansas traffic crashes last year. Of those, 148 were reported unbuckled. Statistics show that proper use of safety restraints reduces the risk of death by up to 45% and decreases serious injury by up to 50%. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people not wearing a seat belt are up to 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle in a crash.
Follow KDOT social media and join the BUPD promotion by using hashtags #BUPD and #BUPDDay.