The Kansas Highway Patrol joined other law enforcement agencies across the state in February and early March for an annual seatbelt enforcement campaign conducted around area high schools. The campaign ran from Monday, February 24, through Friday, March 7.
During this annual enforcement, the Patrol issued:
· Teen seat belt citations (ages 14 -17): 123
· Adult seat belt citations: 493
· Child Restraint citations: 67
This seatbelt enforcement is conducted in conjunction with the SAFE (Seatbelts Are For Everyone) program, which is run by the students of the high school they attend. Currently, 54 counties totaling 124 schools participate in the program.
In 2012, according to Kansas Department of Transportation statistics, Kansas unfortunately lost 43 teens in vehicle crashes, 74% of whom were not properly restrained. The KDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology hosts the two-week awareness campaign in hopes of decreasing that number, and increasing seatbelt usage. KDOT and law enforcement partners across the state have spent over 20 years educating Kansas teens on the dangers of driving without a seatbelt.
In 2013, the observed seat belt rate for the ages of 15-17 was 81%. To put this into perspective, the rate for the same age group was 61% in 2008-09.