Commit to safe driving on Buckle Up Phone Down Day

Release date: October 25, 2023

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation urges drivers and passengers to make a commitment to prioritize safety on the roads as Wisconsin joins states across the nation to proclaim October 25, 2023 as Buckle Up Phone Down Day.

WisDOT marked the day with a news conference at Green Bay East High School. City and school leaders joined former Green Bay Packer and WisDOT spokesperson Donald Driver to help raise awareness of the Buckle Up Phone Down campaign.

“If we want to save lives, we have to make sure that people wear their seat belts, but it’s not our only concern. The Buckle Up Phone Down campaign reminds people distracted driving is a big risk to all travelers. We have to stop letting our phones take our attention from the road,” Driver said.

Last year in Wisconsin, more than a quarter of those killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt (168 of 595 fatalities). Distracted driving was involved in 9,677 crashes and 39 deaths. The Buckle Up Phone Down campaign encourages everyone to take ownership of their role as drivers and passengers to stay safe every time you get in a vehicle.

“Safety is our top priority. We need to work together to reduce crashes and injuries on Wisconsin roads. The more people who recognize the problems we face – and want to do something about it – the easier it will be to find solutions and prevent needless tragedies,” Secretary Craig Thompson said.

The awareness campaign, combined with enforcement efforts, aim to educate drivers and passengers of the simple steps you can take to stay safe.

“Every crash or traffic stop is an opportunity for our officers to talk with drivers about their choices behind the wheel. We can help people understand that one small decision can have a significant impact on their lives. Safety should be the first thing you think about every time you get in a vehicle,” Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan said.

Wisconsin drivers can stop dangerous trends on the roads:

  • Always buckle up. Every trip. Every time. Remind friends and family to do the same.
  • Remember: texting while driving is illegal in Wisconsin. If you must use your phone, pull over to a safe location.
  • Do not use a phone in work zones and emergency response areas. Handheld phones are banned in those areas.

Preliminary data shows more people in Wisconsin are using seat belts than in the past few years when the statewide seat belt use rate had dropped below the national average.

To continue this trend, on Buckle Up Phone Down Day, WisDOT invites Wisconsin businesses, organizations, schools, communities, and individuals to take the Buckle Up Phone Down pledge at Participants are invited to share a thumbs up/thumbs down photo on social media using the hashtag #BuckleUpPhoneDown, then challenge friends, family, and coworkers to do the same.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581,