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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Sandra Hentges/Melissa Black at 573-526-4141 or Revee White at 573-751-5414.

September 30, 2009 12:00 AM
Gnome Says, “Get Your Buckle On”
Creative spot wins first round of seat belt video contest

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - A gnome costume inspired 19-year-old Cole Hieronymus's winning Get Your Buckle On video. The video contest, sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, encouraged people to submit seatbelt videos to getyourbuckleon.com to encourage teens to buckle up.

"We wanted to jolt our peers' minds to wake up out of zombie routine every day and actually put their seat belt on," said Hieronymus.

The video shows two boys in a car. The driver tells his passenger to buckle up and says, "You never know what could happen." When the passenger still fails to buckle up, a gnome smashes the passenger window telling him to "Get Your Buckle On."  The video can be viewed at www.getyourbuckleon.com.

Before the contest, Hieronymus admits he rarely wore his seat belt. After getting involved in the contest and seeing the scary statistics on teen seat belt use and crashes, Hieronymus found himself buckling up. Four out of ten teens don't buckle up, and eight out of ten teens killed in traffic crashes are unbuckled.

The winning video will be promoted during the October teen seat belt campaign running Oct. 5-25. The second round of the teen seat belt video competition will begin Oct. 1. The video contest will be featured in the October advertising campaign sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, encouraging teens to "get your buckle on".

"The contest motivates teens to find innovative ways to reach their peers with the buckle up message," said Leanna Depue, MoDOT's director of Highway Safety, and chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "We hope young people will remember it and wear their seat belts on every trip."

More than 250 seat belt videos were posted online in the first round of the video competition, which ended Aug. 31. Many of the videos were filmed in the Highway Gardens Exhibit Hall at this year's Missouri's State Fair.

The second place video was submitted by Marsha Garrett of Lee's Summit, MO. Third place was awarded to Chelsea Ward.

Forgetting to buckle up is one of the primary reasons teens cite for failing to wear their seat belts. One-hundred thirty seven young people, age 16-20, were killed in 2008 traffic crashes. Eighty percent were not buckled up.

Please visit http://www.getyourbuckleon.com/ to watch the winning videos or to upload your dance.

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