JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - A group of mayors of Missouri towns and cities are coming together to support buckling up and putting down cell phones while driving.
Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin spearheaded the effort, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.
About 25 mayors voiced their support for Buckle Up/Phone Down, also known as BUPD on electronic message boards throughout the state. That includes the mayors of Springfield, Kansas City and Florissant.
"There are two simple acts that can save your life, and the lives of others," Tergin said. "Buckle up and make sure every passenger in your vehicle is buckled up. If you're driving, put the phone down."
The Missouri Department of Transportation implemented the program more than a year ago.
Of the 688 people killed on Missouri highways in 2016, 62 percent of them were tragically not wearing their seat belts. In addition, the Missouri Highway Patrol reports that cell phones contributed to 2,470 crashes in Missouri in 2016, and statistics from AAA show texting increases the risk of a car crash by 50 percent.
Missouri is one of only 16 states with no primary seat belt law, and one of only three states without an all-driver texting ban.