Emily knows how important it is to “Put the Brakes on Fatalities”

COLUMBUS - Approximately 35,000 people die in traffic crashes each year across the United States. That adds up to nearly 95 fatalities every day. With harrowing numbers like these, it's easy to see why the Kansas Department of Transportation is reaching out to the state's youth to encourage safety at an early age, and one local girl is being recognized for her contribution to that mission.

Ten-year-old Emily Britt, of Columbus, is one of the three southeast regional winners in the 2017 'Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day' poster contest.

Emily received a bicycle and helmet, donated by Safe Kids Kansas, during a special presentation at her school Tuesday afternoon. The prizes were presented by KDOT Public Affairs Manager Priscilla Petersen, on behalf of KDOT and the Kansas Highway Patrol, at Central Middle School in Columbus, where Emily attends as a fifth-grader.

A total of 1,048 kids across Kansas ages 5 to 13 took the time to think about safety and participate in the contest. 'Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day' is a nationwide effort to increase roadway safety and reduce all traffic fatalities.