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Idaho partners with Leighton Vander Esch for seat belt safety campaign

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Posted at 1:28 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 09:36:20-05

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is partnering with Idaho native and Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Leighton Vander Esch to remind Idahoans to buckle up.

Brought to life in a new educational campaign, “Rules to LIVE By,” today’s announcement kicks off a partnership between ITD and Vander Esch focusing on the importance of wearing a seat belt at all times while in a vehicle.

“We are thrilled to partner with Leighton on this project,” said ITD Highway Safety Manager John Tomlinson. “He believes in hard work and doing things the right way; these are his rules to live by. Wearing a seat belt is one of those rules and we hope other Idahoans follow that example.”

Reports show that 85 percent of people in Idaho buckle up. However, almost two-thirds of those killed in motor vehicles crashes were not wearing their seat belts. The majority of those people were killed on rural roads.

“Having Leighton on board can really make a difference in those rural communities,” Tomlinson said. “That’s where he grew up and he really understands the values of a small town, but he also has a broad appeal that will resonate with all Idahoans.”

“I’m very proud to be from Idaho and my wife and I love coming home every chance we get,” Vander Esch said. “Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about the importance of seatbelt safety in my work with ITD, I’m excited to partner with them to help educate Idahoans about the importance of buckling up.”

The statewide program “Rules to LIVE By” will include a media campaign featuring Vander Esch and educational events being planned at schools throughout the state. The first commercials featuring Vander Esch and his personal rules, including a message to “always buckle up,” were released Thursday, and can be seen here.

“I’m grateful that I can help save lives and give back to the place that will always be my home,” Vander Esch said.