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MoDOT Challenge: Buckle Up, Phone Down Day Oct. 20th - KOAM TV 7

MoDOT Challenge: Buckle Up, Phone Down Day Oct. 20th

Updated:
Joplin, MO -

The state of Missouri has a no-texting law for drivers twenty-one and under. But the Missouri Department of Transportation is challenging all drivers to honor the ban tomorrow. Friday, October 20th is Buckle Up, Phone Down Day.

Kolby Felker checked his phone while walking the mall  and admitted  he does that in the car too. Felker explained, "Its just a habit. Always on your phone, that's the problem.  People are just so used to being on their phone, that they dont think about where they're at. They just do it no matter what."
His friend Isabel Garcia said she would answer if her phone rang but both agreed that in vehicles you shouldn
t.
"Sometimes I do, honestly yeah, but I know it
s not a good idea,"  said Garcia.
Felker added, "It
s a distraction." 
That
s why MoDOT and area law enforcement agencies want everyone to take the Buckle Up Phone Down Challenge. Distracted driving is the number one cause of crashes. 
Sergeant Tim Williams explained what kinds of crashes the sheriff
s office finds. "We see a lot vehicles off in  ditch, people thrown out, trapped inside of vehicles and sadly a lot of these situations  could easily have been prevented."
Darin Hamelink, the new area engineer for MoDOT in southwest Missouri said,
Last  year in Missouri, we lost nine hundred forty-seven people to fatal crashes. And sixty percent of those people were unbuckled.


Joplin's police chief said a recent survey of citizens and visitors by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows seventy-six  percent consider distracted driving a big concern in the city.
Chief Matt Stewart said, "We get reports of that quite often of  folks that just aren
t  paying attention. Of course distracted driving is more than just cell phones but cell phones are probably the leading factor in that distracted driving. So, anytime somebody is not paying attention to the roadway, that  has a potential  for problems."


The campaign hopes to get businesses involved encouraging employees to take the challenge not just for one day but in hopes that it builds a habit for life.
Sergeant Williams said it
s also a positive influence on those still to young to drive.  "Those little things as a parent, you need to be a good role model, put our seat belt on because they're watching you."


Tyler Oberley, a dad at the mall said he puts safety first. "They dont have to tell me buckle up.  If any phones go off, they know, Dad dont touch it . Dont answer it."
 

To take part in the challenge register at MoDOTs website.

Click here for a link.


 

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