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College of Engineering partners with ‘Buckle Up, Phone Down’ campaign

The University of Missouri College of Engineering recently became the latest proud partner of the Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety’s “Buckle Up, Phone Down” campaign. The goal is to challenge Missouri drivers in the hopes of raising seat belt usage rates and eliminating cell phone use behind the wheel. The official “Buckle Up, Phone Down” day is Oct. 20.

Buckle Up, Phone Down logo

The goal of the “Buckle Up, Phone Down” campaign is to challenge Missouri drivers in the hopes of raising seat belt usage rates and eliminating cell phone use behind the wheel. Photo courtesy of MoDOT.

“Engineering is a big part of our society, and we affect people’s lives in so many ways, but in terms of safety, there’s a potentially huge impact the College of Engineering can affect,” MU Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Carlos Sun said.

A total of 948 people died in Missouri traffic crashes last year, 689 of them drivers. Of that 689, 63 percent weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Meanwhile, reported crashes involving cell phone usage rose 17 percent in 2015 despite a ban on texting while driving for motorists under the age of 21.

MoDOT and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety are engaging agencies, businesses, communities and individuals, asking them to accept the challenge. And Mizzou Engineering is one of the latest to answer the call and one of just two university partners, alongside Park University.

The College has a long history of partnering with MoDOT on research on traffic safety, and joining the “Buckle Up, Phone Down” campaign is just the latest way the two entities have partnered to promote greater safety for all Missouri drivers.

“There’s no bigger contribution we can make to our society than potentially saving lives,” Sun said.