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Safety First in Vehicles: Buckle Up, Phone Down


By Kansas Department of Transportation


KANSAS — Put safety first when getting into a vehicle and participate in Buckle Up Phone Down (BUPD) Day, recognized across the country on Oct. 25. The Kansas Department of Transportation and the Drive To Zero (DTZ) Coalition challenge all travelers to ditch distractions and focus on safety.

Drivers will see increased enforcement of occupant protection and texting laws across the state as law enforcement officials are partnering in this effort. 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 Transportation Secretary Calvin Reed. “Buckle up, put the phone down. Every trip. Every time.”

Across the U.S., more than 42,500 people died in crashes in 2022, and about 50% of those killed in a passenger motor vehicle were not belted or restrained. In Kansas, 410 people died in traffic crashes last year. According to KDOT stats, 156 of those people were reported unbuckled.

“Too many adults are still not buckling up and many kids are not properly restrained in car seats,” said Secretary Reed. “Being properly restrained reduces the risk of death or serious injury when in a crash. Crashes happen in an instant, and then it’s too late to react – the damage is done.”

Driving distracted is a big concern as well. Last year, more than 13,000 crashes occurred across Kansas because drivers were inattentive or were sidetracked by cell phones, other electronic devices, eating, reading, applying makeup or people in the vehicle.  Those crashes resulted in 98 fatalities and more than 4,700 injuries.

The DTZ Coalition and KDOT take part in safety education campaigns throughout the year to encourage everyone to actively support these lifesaving messages. Follow KDOT social media and join the BUPD promotion by using hashtags #BUPD and #BUPDDay.