KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The deadliest time of year to be on the roads - the holiday travel season - is less than a week away. Last year, seven people died on Missouri roads during the Thanksgiving weekend and hundreds were injured, and one of the main reasons was not wearing seat belts.
On Friday, highway patrols on both sides of the state line kicked off Occupant Protection Day to remind drivers to always wear the seat belt. So far, the traffic fatality rate for Missouri is nine percent lower than this time last year and going into next weekend, the Missouri Highway Patrol would like to keep that number from rising
In Missouri, officers can't pull over drivers like Chris Kalicak just for not buckling up. Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Collin Strosberg pulled Kalicak over for a lane violation. Kalicak was also not wearing his seat belt.
"I try to as much as possible. I guess because I was getting cruising on the road it was just one of those things I just kind of overlooked today I suppose," said Kalicak.
"Seat belts obviously save lives it's a proven fact just by buckling up you reduce your chance of dying by 50 percent," said Sgt. Stosberg.
Next week, will mark the two year anniversary of Madison Cannon's accident that left her a quadriplegic. She was not wearing her seat belt. Madison Cannon says,
"When you are young and able, you don't think this kind of thing will happen to you because I never thought it would happen to me. I think it's just people being naive cause I never wore my seat belt either," said Cannon, who carries her crash picture around to show others in the program.
"If I can just get one to listen maybe they can get one more to listen," said Cannon.
A lesson Chris Kalicak learned without paying the price of his mobility.
"I mean $10 isn't too much, it's honestly I hate to say this but I would almost be willing to pay more for it I mean," said Kalicak.