This isn't really new. First responders like fire fighters, paramedics and police officers are always reminding us to buckle up before we drive and to get off the darn cell phone and stay off it while we're driving. Unfortunately, we don't listen so good, especially the part about not texting and driving. Which is why Johnson County EMA got involved with the Missouri Department of Transportation's third annual Buckle Up Phone Down Day yesterday, October 29.

The challenge is simple, and one you should do every day, not just on Buckle Up Phone Down Day. MoDOT asks that every time you get in a car you buckle up. Doesn't matter if you're the driver, the passenger, in the front seat, the back seat, wherever. Just click that seat belt. If you're the driver, the challenge also asks you to stay off your phone. No calls, no texts, no emojis, no buying movie tickets on the way to the theater. They even suggest turning off the phone if you need that extra will power to keep from sneaking a peek at it.

Finally, in addition to accepting the challenge yourself, MoDOT asks that challenge a friend or family member to do the same.

I heard about Buckle Up Phone Down day from Johnson County EMA's post challenging us all to buckle up and put the phone down. Let's do what they ask, and make some of our first responders jobs just a little bit easier. The life you save may even be your own.

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