Law enforcement is mobilizing in a special effort to specifically enforce seat belts around schools.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, beginning February 26th and running through March 9th, troopers , area law enforcement agencies, and agencies in both Missouri and Oklahoma will participate in the annual “High Visibility Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign.” This initiative is coupled with the Seat Belts Are for Everyone (SAFE) program in Kansas’ high schools. SAFE is a locally sustained program, administered by the students of the high school they attend. The focus is on reducing deaths and injuries on Kansas roadways. Currently, 157 high schools from 71 counties participate in the SAFE program statewide. www.ktsro.org/safe
“Troopers will be working with local law enforcement partners in an aggressive education and enforcement campaign focused on the importance of seat belt usage,” said Colonel Mark Bruce, Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Seat belts have been proven to save lives and prevent injuries, and our goal is to make sure all young adults buckle up in all seating positions.”
In 2015, Kansas tragically lost 13 high school teens in motor vehicle crashes. Of those teens, nearly 40 percent were not properly restrained. KDOT’s Traffic Safety section is spearheading this two-week awareness campaign in hopes of decreasing serious injuries and crash fatalities by increasing seat belt usage. In 2015, the observed seat belt rate in Kansas for the ages of 15-17 was 85%. The seat belt usage rate for the same age group was 61% in 2008-09, demonstrating the SAFE program is making a difference for Kansas youth.