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Chicago Effort Urges Seat-Belt Safety

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ATLANTA The City of Chicago and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago are teaming up to put stickers on seat belts of city cabs urging riders to "Buckle up" in a program devised by McKinney + Silver.

Brad Brinegar, chief executive officer of the Raleigh, N.C., agency, also serves on the RIC board of trustees. As a result of the state's seat-belt safety initiative, Brinegar accepted the assignment to develop a campaign directed at Chicago's residents and visitors.

The campaign features stickers with the message "Buckle up" translated in Spanish, Polish, Italian, Greek, German, French, Norwegian, Dutch and Mandarin Chinese, the agency said. The message will appear on seat belts in a test group of Chicago Carriage Cab Co. taxis.

"To start, there are nine translations that will go on the seat belts themselves," said Janet Northern, senior vice president and director of agency communications. "Our goal is to get all 90 languages translated on these stickers."

According to Caroline Shoenberger, commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Consumer Services, seat-belt usage is on the rise in private vehicles. This campaign focuses on influencing taxi drivers and passengers to fasten their seat belts.

"We hope that by discovering new ways of saying 'Buckle up,' we can encourage passengers to reach for their seat belts," said Shoenberger.

The campaign is a pilot program, the shop said. Upon approval, 20 more translations will begin to appear in Chicago cabs. Campaign spending was not disclosed.