National Seatbelt Campaign Focuses on Child Safety

A new national campaign aims to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries for children younger than 10.

Parents chauffeuring between events sometimes neglect to properly buckle their children, according to a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Administration. More than half of the 1,552 children who died in traffic-related injuries during the past 5 years were not wearing seatbelts.

“Buckling up is an important habit to instill in children at a young age,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “As parents, we need to lead by example and reinforce the message to make sure it sticks. This campaign urges parents to never give up until their kids buckle up.”

The campaign by NTHSA encourages parents to consistently and properly buckle their children before the vehicle is moving. NHTSA data show that as children get older they are less likely to buckle up. Riding unrestrained generally is most pronounced among 13- and 14-year-olds regardless of seating position.

“Kids will always test the limits with their parents or caregivers, but there is no room for compromise when it comes to wearing a seatbelt,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. “Sounding like a broken record can save your child’s life. Kids need constant reminders and this is one that can’t be skipped.”

Focus groups used in the study confirmed children need to get accustomed to the idea of buckling before the vehicle begins moving. Eventually, the driver rule becomes second nature without any teen resistance. Moreover, the process becomes ingrained as a lifelong, lifesaving habit.

The NHTSA developed in English and Spanish for includes television, radio, outdoor, print and digital ads. The ads take a direct approach to parents.

One radio spot says, “You’re the driver. The one in control. Stand firm. Just wait. And move only when you hear the click that says they’re buckled in for the drive.”

For more information about driving safely buckling up teens and pre-adolescents go to: