Buckle Booth campaign poster, courtesy CDOTThis September, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is bringing distinctive “Buckle Booths” to high school football games in five towns to increase awareness of how seat belts save lives, CDOT writes in a press release. The towns include Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Brighton, and Pueblo, as the The Tribune reports.

In 2014, 35 teens in Colorado were killed in road accidents, and 43% of them were not wearing a seat belt, CDOT writes. Sam Cole, Traffic Safety Communications Manager for CDOT emphasized the importance of the campaign.

He said:

‘Teens are forming habits now that will follow them for life. There is a huge need to educate teens on the importance of buckling up – it is the single most important thing they can do to protect themselves in the event of a car crash. We want to ensure teens are practicing seatbelt safety now, and forever.’

Safety First

During each of the five Buckle Booth events, 35 black balloons — representing the teens who lost their lives in the 2014 crashes — will be anchored to stadium seats, CDOT writes. And stage-crashed cars will be displayed on the front lawns of schools to emphasize what can happen when a teen is not wearing a seat belt.

The Buckle Booth campaign — which begins today at Pueblo County High School at 7 p.m. — features an open-air photo booth inside each participating football stadium, where teens can have their pictures taken along with safety-related backgrounds and props, such as seat belts, car seats, and steering wheels, CDOT writes. To have their pictures taken, the teens are required to pledge to buckle up every ride, every time, CDOT writes.

Teens are encouraged to share the photos on social media, to help raise awareness of the importance of wearing seat belts, CDOT writes, In addition a “street team” will have conversations with the teens about seat belt safety, the department writes.

CDOT selected the five high schools because those schools have a sizable number of students in counties known for high numbers of traffic-related deaths car accidents, the press release says. The department hopes that social media sharing of the Buckle Booth photos will extend the message far beyond the five schools, and throughout the state.

Important Message

Cole said that talking with teens about seat belt safety is not easy. He added: “We want to meet teens where they are — and remind them that no one wants to miss out on making memories, especially if it’s because they weren’t wearing a seat belt.” Seat belts protect drivers and passengers during a crash. In fact, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of death in a car accident by 45%, CDOT writes. Drivers and passengers are 30 times more likely to be thrown from a vehicle if they are not wearing a seat belt.

Here is the list of the five Buckle Booth Campaign locations and their dates:

  • September 4, 2015 / Pueblo County High School, Pueblo, 7 p.m.
  • September 11, 2015 / Brighton High School, Brighton, 7p.m.
  • September 18, 2015 / District 6 Stadium, Greeley, 7 p.m.
  • September 19, 2015 / Gerry Berry Stadium, Colorado Springs, 6 p.m.
  • September 24, 2015 / JeffCo Stadium, Lakewood, 7:30 p.m.
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