KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City saw more fatal crashes last year than any year since the popularization of airbags and other safety features.
Now police worry the disturbing trend could continue.
Missouri just launched the “Show Me Zero Traffic Fatalities” program, after 176 fatal crashes in the state the first three months.
There seem to be several factors. Fatalities in drivers under 21 are up 58%. Officials also blame impairment, distracted driving and people not wearing seatbelts.
In Kansas City, which saw a 40-year high of 103 fatalities last year, 81% of crash victims in vehicles with seat belts weren’t wearing them. 72% of drivers who caused fatal crashes were impaired in some way.
Police are doing what they can to try to stop the disturbing tend, placing officers in high collision and frequent speeding areas, and cracking down on drunk driving. Their message, buckle up, phone down, slow down, and drive sober.
“Our DUI squad their numbers were higher last year than they’ve been in recent history they are on pace to make even more arrests than they did the year before,” Sgt. Bill Mahoney said.
April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is asking drivers to take the Buckle Up, Phone Down pledge.
“I think people would do well to remember how hard it would be on their family if they died in a crash and maybe they’d been wearing a seatbelt they could have survived,” Mahoney said.
You can find more details about the program by clicking here.