The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants teens to think about how dangerous a car ride can be if they don’t buckle up. An element of this year’s teen seat belt campaign  “Buckle Up. It’s No Joke.” reminds teens that their safety is to be taken very seriously.

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel Bret Johnson, only 68 percent of Missouri’s teens buckle up. To combat this low rate law enforcement will be out in full force March 15-31 to crack down on un-belted drivers. Johnson hopes that the increased enforcement will raise awareness and help save lives.

Nearly seven out of 10 vehicle occupants killed in Missouri traffic crashes in the past three years were not wearing seat belts, and when evaluating teen vehicle occupants, nearly eight out of 10 were unbuckled. Teens are most likely to follow parental example, says Johnson. Parents who buckle up on a regular basis have kids that make the same safe choice.