Sara O’Dell of Pryor, Okla., was named the winner of the first “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” children’s poster contest. Sara, whose father Dennis is a truck driver for Air Products and Chemicals of Pryor, submitted a hand-drawn poster conveying the safety belt partnership message – professional truck drivers need to “Be Ready. Be Buckled.”
The contest was sponsored by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership, which includes the Department of Transportation, American Trucking Associations and other safety partners. “Safety belts save lives, and the poster contest was an excellent way to encourage and remind truck drivers and their passengers to always buckle up and instill in our children a lifelong safety habit,” says John H. Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. “Whenever truck drivers see this winning poster, I hope they are reminded to ‘Be Ready. Be Buckled.’ because their families and children need them.”
Sara received a $1,000 savings bond and was recognized, along with her mother, in Washington D.C. on May 5 during North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. “The ‘Be Ready. Be Buckled.’ poster contest highlights an important safety partnership between the trucking industry and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “I congratulate Sara on creating the winning poster that helps inform professional truck drivers of the necessity of buckling up.”
In 2003, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership was created to combat low safety belt use among the nation’s CMV drivers. In 2007, safety belt use among professional truck drivers has increased to 65 percent. Previous safety belt usage surveys conducted by DOT also demonstrate the effectiveness of industry safety initiatives. In 2003, the survey found that only 48 percent of truck drivers wore safety belts, compared to 59 percent by 2006.