'Buckle Up South Dakota' week declared May 24-31 Governor Bill Janklow has proclaimed the week of May 24-31 as "Buckle up South Dakota! Week."
The designation coincides with the beginning of the summer driving season and the nationwide "Buckle Up America! Week" safety campaign.
"Wearing your seat belt is one of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself from serious injury or death in a traffic crash," Janklow said. "Parents must be examples for their children by buckling up themselves. Studies show that when a driver buckles up, children are buckled up 87 percent of the time, but when a driver is unbuckled, child belt use drops to 24 percent."
A statewide safety belt usage survey conducted in November of 1998 by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety determined that seat belt usage by front seat motor vehicle occupants averaged approximately 43 percent. This puts South Dakota well below the 68 percent national seat belt use rate.
"We need to work together to improve this number," Janklow said.
Governor Janklow has continued to implement a statewide child safety seat distribution program, which has provided over 13,000 child safety seats to local organizations to distribute to South Dakota families since 1996.