CDOT Snapchat campaign

A screen shot from the Snapchat campaign. Image courtesy CDOT.

Because Snapchat is so popular among teens, the Colorado Department of Transportation launched an interactive campaign on the social media platform to encourage young people to wear their seat belts every time they drive. According to CDOT, wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to survive a crash.

CDOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager Sam Cole said:

Reaching teens with seat belt messages isn’t always easy. Our goal is to reach teens where they are most often, and right now, that’s on social media. We want to communicate in a way that feels relatable to them.

CDOT delivered posters to more than 300 Colorado high schools, showing a Snapcode and prompt to add the account. The strategically placed posters created buzz for the campaign, whose targeted one-on-one seat belt safety messages use emojis and Snapchat art. More than 1,400 followers were added to CDOT’s Snapchat account.

CDOT distributed themed Snapchat geofilters to 20 Colorado high schools, focusing on counties with a large number of teen traffic fatalities. The Colorado counties with the most teen road deaths in 2015 were Weld, with five; Arapahoe, with three; Larimer, with three; Denver, with two; El Paso with two; and Pueblo, with two.

Chhun Sun, writing for The Gazette, said NHTSA statistics show motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. Wearing a seat belt reduces the chance of fatal injury by 45% in a crash, and drivers and passengers who are not wearing seat belt have a 30 times greater chance of being thrown from a vehicle in a crash, and of increasing the risk that others in the vehicle will be killed or injured by 40%.

Mom Lays Down Law About Seat Belts

In another seat belt news item, Jason Barry reports for that Michelle Fortin of Scottsdale, Arizona, called the police to teach her 3-year-old daughter, Camille, how important it is to wear a seat belt. The little girl had unbuckled her belt as Fortin was driving home with her kids.

Michelle Fortin pulled over to a safe spot, parked, and buckled Camille back up. But she had a feeling her daughter had not gotten the message, so once they all got home, she called the police and turned her in.

The police arrived at the house, where they explained that seat belts are important to wear because they protect us from other drivers. Fortin said, “Yes, it was an extreme choice on my part to call the police, but I know she’s going to remember it.” Little Camille has promised to always wear a seat belt from now on.

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