LANSING - You’ve probably heard of the popular seat belt campaign “Click it or Ticket.” This May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is targeting a very specific age group for seat belt safety.
“We mainly just want to encourage parents to make sure that their tween, which is a child ages 8-14, is buckled up,” said Digital Media Strategist for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning Kristin Allen.
Online and social media ads encouraged parents not to negotiate seat belt use with their tweens.
Paul Schmidt has a tween son at Haslett Middle School, and has heard PSA's for the campaign on the radio, however he already had strict rules for seat belt use.
“We don't leave until he’s buckled,” said Schmidt.
From 2010 to 2014 in the state of Michigan, 3,003 tweens were involved in a traffic accident, and more than 10 percent of them were improperly buckled. Police hope the campaign will decrease that number.
"We certainly hope so," said Allen. "In conjunction with the 'Click it or Ticket' campaign, we definitely hope to see the seat belt use rate in Michigan go back up. It's at 93 percent currently and we'd like to get back to 98 percent and we were there a while ago."
So far after the first year, Allen has witnessed success with the social media campaign.
“It was very positive, I know from the social media standpoint we heard a lot of positive feedback from it,” said Allen.
It's encouraged that children under 13 remain in the back seat, and state law prohibits children under the age of 16 to be in the back seat without a seat belt. A fine for not wearing a seat belt is $65.