The Kansas Department of Transportation says more Kansans are buckling up than ever before.
Transportation Secretary Mike King said in a statement Monday that 86 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers were observed to be wearing seat belts in 2014. That’s up from just 61 percent in 2003.
Although the state beat its target for 2014, its seat belt usage rate remains below the national average of 87 percent. The state ranked 40th in the country for seat belt usage in 2013.
Transportation official Norraine Wingfield says usage is going up the fastest among teens, and passengers tend to buckle up if the driver does first. Kansas Highway Patrol Col. Mark Bruce says the numbers show that the state is moving in the right direction.