Grant will encourage more of Alabama#039;s drivers to buckle up

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 6, 2006

Sometimes we forget to buckle up, but Gov. Bob Riley's Thursday announcement that he was awarding a $739,000 grant to a statewide campaign encouraging Alabamians to wear their seatbelts is a good reminder.

Riley's announcement coincides with the state's highly successful &#8220Click-It-or-Ticket” crusade. The grant will be utilized by the Alabama Film Office to produce video, audio and written advertisements asking Alabama's drivers to buckle up for safety.

&#8220An increasing number of Alabamians are adhering to the state's mandatory seatbelt laws,” said Riley. &#822082 percent of the state motorists are buckling up, but that number can be improved and more lives can be saved with the help of this public awareness campaign.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides funding for the program.

The grant will help target male drivers, especially teenagers who drive pick-up trucks along the rural roads of Alabama.

State officials said these drivers are still less likely to wear seatbelts because of a desire to be seen as independent. There's also a strong sense of invincibility and the belief that accidents happen to other people.

We applaud the governor for continuing to promote seatbelt use in Alabama and hope this funding will stress even more the need for every man, woman, and teenaged driver to buckle up before hitting the road.