Media reminders about seat belt usage make a difference in encouraging seat belt usage, according to findings of the Teen Jackson Seat Belt Coalition. The coalition announced the findings from three years of study during a press conference held Sept. 15 at the Jackson State University Student Center.
“Study findings show that teen seat belt use is highest when there are active reminders, and that it falls off pretty significantly when the reminders are removed,” said Dawn Bishop McLin, co-principal investigator of the project and a psychology professor at Jackson State. “This suggests that getting young people to buckle up will require continued messaging until it becomes an automatic behavior.”
Research has also shown that even though Mississippi has passed a primary seat belt law, many people still don’t buckle up. Other states with primary seat belt laws have gotten people to use seat belts through an active campaign to enforce the law.
With support from a wide variety of community partners, including the Jackson Public School District, the coalition has conducted rallies and supported service-learning projects to increase seat belt usage among teens.
Callaway High School students who produced radio commercials about using seat belts participated in the event.
Other program participants included Sean Perkins, Chief of Staff of the City of Jackson; Stacy Donaldson of Murrah High School; attorney and coalition member Richard Schwartz; a Domino’s Pizza representative; and Callaway High School students.