The Scott Police Department has seen a decrease in traffic crashes this year compared to 2019-2020, and Chief Chad Leger is working to make sure that trend continues.
Scott PD is partnering with Brian Schlesinger State Farm on a new safety campaign called "Buckle Up, Phone Down." Tuesday, Public Works started installing 40 reflective signs under stop signs throughout the city, mostly in subdivisions and high traffic areas, to remind drivers to 1) put on their seat belts and 2) drive responsibly, not distracted, by putting down their cell phones.
After several years of an increase in traffic crashes, with many being caused by distracted driving, Leger said Scott Police have responded to 129 fewer crashes this year than last year. The campaign is aimed at making residents more attentive behind the wheel, especially with several construction projects either ongoing or planned in Scott over the next year and a half.
"Lots of construction is going to be occurring in the city and we want people to pay attention. There will be lots of moving parts in the next year and a half," the chief said in a press conference Tuesday to announce the campaign. "You can't be effective at what you're going to do if you can't get there."
Scott Police received a grant from Brian Schlesinger State Farm for $1,000, which allowed an upgrade from regular signs to reflective, which Chief Leger says means drivers will be able to see the signs 24/7, even at night.
According to Schlesinger, State Farm statistics reveal that 91% of drivers have a smartphone and almost 80% admit to using their cell phone while driving.
"Vehicle safety is extremely important to State Farm, and whenever Chief Leger came up with this idea, I jumped at the opportunity to partner with the police department on this initiative," he added.
And the "Buckle Up, Phone Down" safety campaign isn't the only one in the works. Leger said the police department has a few other campaigns in the works and launching over the next few weeks, including one involving railways.
Overall, the goal is to spread awareness and make sure all drivers are being safe.
The chief stated, "We want people to make it from Point A to Point B as safe as possible to get their missions accomplished."
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