A survey done in 16 rural areas of Iowa finds about two-thirds of young people in pickup trucks wear seat belts. That number isn’t bad but could certainly be better according to Shari Burgus education director for “Farm Safety 4 Just Kids.” Burgus says the study found 66-percent of youth in pickups were belted in. The latest statewide survey for people of all ages in all vehicles found a seat belt use rate at nearly 81-percent, according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. Burgus says her group’s more-focused survey saw some of the communities with a youth/pickup seat belt use rate as low as 32-percent, while in other areas, it was as high as 97-percent.National studies find more than half of all fatal vehicle crashes are in rural areas, with contributing factors including: loose gravel, soft shoulders, and sharing the road with large, slow-moving vehicles. Burgus would -not- say which Iowa communities were on either end of the wide range as she said -quote- “I don’t want to be pointing fingers.” She would reveal that it often takes a tragic, multi-fatal wreck in a community to change the perception and make people start buckling up. The surveys were done in areas surrounding: Adair, Algona, Cascade, Clarinda, Coon Rapids, Corning, Delhi, Edgewood, Eldridge, Manchester, Monticello, Murray, Rockford, Stanton, Wellsburg and Wellman. For more information on the “Buckle Up or Eat Glass” program, call 800 423-KIDS or visit “www.buckleuptruck.org”.
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