A conference aimed at promoting safety on the roads took place in Hannibal on Wednesday, March 6. The NE Coalition for Roadway Safety hosted the event, titled “Everyone … Just Drive!”
Topics included the following presentations:
- Description of new safety features in vehicles
- Safe and Sober program
- A new seat belt law passed in Foristell
- An award-winning public service announcement from Montgomery County High School titled, “Buckle Up. Arrive Alive.”
- The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's plan on reducing the number of fatal Missouri car accidents
The emphasis was on seat belt use when it came to the special “Moment of Impact” segment. Three people who have suffered injury or the death of a family member spoke about their experiences following a Missouri car crash:
- Kayle Denny of Jefferson City suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed after a 2007 accident in which her best friend died. Denny was driving at the time and lost control when her vehicle started to hydroplane. None of the three teens in the car were wearing seat belts.
- Crystal Lain of Hannibal lost her sister Danni to a car crash in 2008. The four teens involved in that crash were not wearing seat belts when their out-of-control vehicle flipped seven times.
- Steve Dickson, a surveyor for the Missouri Department of Transportation, believes wearing seat belts made the difference for him and a coworker in a 2007 Missouri truck accident.
The conference emphasized a sobering statistic: While national seat belt use is 86 percent, only 79 percent of Missourians wear seat belts; among teens that number drops to 66 percent.