New campaign urges young men to buckle their seat belt

26-percent of Massachusetts drivers do not use their seat belt

Photo Courtesy of MGN Online

CHICOPEE (WWLP) – The state Highway Safety Division claims men between the ages of 18 and 34 are less likely to buckle up. Chicopee residents told 22News they are not surprised.

State highway officials launched a campaign Wednesday to get people, especially young men, to get in the habit of wearing their seat belt. Massachusetts law requires all drivers and passengers to use a seat belt when riding in a motor vehicle.

According to the Highway Safety Division, 26-percent of Massachusetts drivers don’t buckle up when they get in their car.

Chicopee resident Sandy Elliott said, “as long as I have mine on, that’s all I care about.”

The campaign announcement said 66-percent of men, 18 to 34 wear their seat belt. Transportation officials claim men who drive pick-up trucks are even less likely to wear their seat belt because they feel the size of the vehicle will protect them. One driver told 22News he’s more comfortable without the seat belt, regardless of safety.

“I think that when I get on the highway I potentially put it on more, but around town and stuff like that I don’t ever really put it on to be honest with you,” said Drew Spiller of Ludlow.

The statewide campaign kicks-off Monday, and runs for the rest of May. You can expect to see seat belt ads on gas station pumps, sports venues and on television.

Chicopee resident Michael Landry doubts the campaign will get young men to buckle up.

He said, “I don’t think it’s going to hurt, but I honestly don’t think it’s going to make a difference. I think, especially at that age, they probably already have it in their head that they don’t want to put their seat belt on.”

State and local police will also be keeping a closer eye on drivers to ensure that seat belts are fastened. The fine for a first seat belt violation is $25.

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