A Minnesota State Patrol initiative is being launched - literally - at high school football games, including Chatfield's home game this Friday, to encourage teens to make the right play and always buckle up.

Uniformed State Troopers will be using a t-shirt launcher to deliver loud neon-green t-shirts, stating "Everyday I'm Buckling," into the crowd.

The launching events will be advertised through the school's morning messages and an accompanying message read by the public address announcer at halftime while the t-shirts are launched into the crowd.

The Chatfield event is the third this fall for the new initiative. It continues with programs every Friday, including Stewartville Oct. 4, and ends Oct. 16 at Century High School.

The reason for the initiative is because traffic crashes are the leading killer of Minnesota teens due to inexperience, risk-taking, distractions, and low seat belt usage. In the past five years, 203 teens were killed in crashes, and of those, 165 were vehicle occupants, of which only 67 (41 percent) were belted.

Another component of the campaign is to encourage parents to understand their role in developing safer teen drivers. Parents should talk to their teen to reinforce driving laws such as always buckling up - in front and back seats - and stress that it is illegal to text and drive, including when stopped in traffic. Drivers under age 18 are also banned from any cell phone use.

Parents should also enforce passenger and nighttime driving limitation laws. Teen drivers may not have more than one passenger under age 20 during their first six months of licensure, unless accompanied by a parent.