Arrive Alive

Buckle Up Phone Down Campaign Wins Awards

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Transportation has received recognition from the American Association of Highway Transportation Officials and the Mid-Missouri chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for its Buckle Up Phone Down campaign.

Recently, MoDOT reported that its annual seat belt survey revealed 87.1 percent of Missourians now use a seat belt, the highest rate since the survey began in 1998. Missouri is nearing the national average which is 89.7 percent.

 “We’re very excited that BUPD is gaining momentum across Missouri and our nation,” said Nicole Hood, MoDOT state traffic and highway safety engineer. “More so, we know that the simple acts of buckling up and putting your phone down while driving are saving lives.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is the leading cause of car crashes in the United States. More than 930 people died in crashes on Missouri highways in 2017. Of those, 687 vehicle drivers and passengers—or 64.3 percent—were not wearing a safety belt.   

The award for Issues and Crisis Management Communication, Public Involvement Approach (without consultant) was presented at the annual meeting of the AASHTO Committee on Transportation Communication in Biloxi, MS on October 2. Award submission highlights included the BUPD web page which allows individuals and businesses to pledge to buckle up and put their phones down while driving. Participating businesses can also upload their logos to the site to show support.

Mid-MO PRSA awarded MoDOT the 2018 Campaign of Excellence during its Fall Conference in Columbia on October 25. Highlights focused on the specific efforts centered around BUPD Day and franchised fast food restaurant involvement in central Missouri. By interacting with people and businesses the goal is to change safety culture and make our roadways safer.

Find out how you and your business can get involved with these award-winning campaigns. For more information on Buckle Up Phone Down, go to