Highway Officials Start Seat Belt Campaign
By Tom Weber, KWMU
St. Louis – Highway safety officials kicked off a new effort in St. Louis Monday to get more people to buckle up.
That comes just days after Missouri lawmakers finished their spring session without strengthening seat belt laws.
The session ended without a vote to allow police to pull people over for not wearing a seat belt.
Right now they have to pull you over for some other reason before nabbing you for not buckling up.
Jeff Runge, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says that will have direct impacts.
"Ninety people will die in Missouri this year because of the Legislature's failure to enact a primary belt law," Runge said.
Some lawmakers worried that the plan did not include enough protections against racial profiling.
There will, however, soon be new TV and radio ads in Missouri that encouraging motorists to "click it or ticket."
Officials say seat belt use in Missouri is at 73 percent. That figure is well below their national goal of 90 percent compliance.