Transportation Cabinet Wants Your Teens Buckled

Currently, eighteen percent of all 16 to 19-year-olds are killed in fatal car wrecks every year.

This statistic has the state of Kentucky working hard to make sure teens are buckling-up when they get behind the wheel.

But now, the state has a new initiative.

On Sept. 5, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet unveiled a new campaign called "What's Holding You Back, Kentucky?"

The campaign prompts teenagers to literally ask themselves this question every time they get into their cars.

Speakers addressed the crowd of students about the importance of buckling up.

One of the most moving messages came from a mother and her daughter who know firsthand the power of wearing a seatbelt.

"I felt unsafe, like I was falling out of the seat. I didn't feel safe at all," said Kailli Stacks.

Now, she always makes sure to put her seatbelt on.

She also chats with others about the importance of buckling up, every time she gets in a car.

"No one gets in my car and doesn't remember that they don't put their seatbelt on," Stacks explained.

She's even won an award from Bowling Green High for a service announcement video she made preaching seatbelt safety.

In the video, Kailli plays the role of a teen who's in a car accident that puts her in the hospital with her mom by her side.

"I remember at that moment feeling very uncomfortable. I don't really like acting this out--my daughter in a hospital bed after she's just had an accident," Kailli's mother, Sherri Brown said.

Little did Kailli or her mother know, a few months after she graduated high school, life would imitate art.

"A girl ran the stop sign and smashed right into my vehicle totaling the car and spraining my ankle and other areas of my leg," Stacks explained.

"I knew that Kailli always wore a seatbelt but you still never know as you're going to the accident site, always hoping that they remembered that day to wear their seatbelt," Brown assured.

Thankfully for Kailli, that day she was wearing her seatbelt.

She would later learn the severity of the crash when she looked at her car.

"When I was seeing my vehicle, getting things out of it, it really hit me that the vehicle was possibly what I could have looked like," Stacks admitted.

Her and her mother believe that the difference in life or death for Kailli came down to one click.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, more than 50 teenagers have died from not wearing their seatbelts this year.

For parents with younger children, the Kentucky Child Passenger Safety Team will be in town to check child safety seats for proper installation, recalls and to answer questions.

The car seat inspection will be Sept. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Broadway United Methodist Church on 1323 Melrose St.

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