The Kansas Highway Patrol joined other law enforcement agencies across the state from February 23 through March 6, for an annual seatbelt enforcement campaign conducted around area high schools.
During this annual enforcement, the Kansas Highway Patrol issued:
• Teen seat belt citations (ages 14 -17): 265, (123 in 2014)
• Adult seat belt citations: 344, (493 in 2014)
• Child Restraint citations: 42, (67 in 2014)
• Other notable citations: 224, (47 in 2014)
Includes Driving While Suspended, Warrants, Texting, Registration, and Speed violations
This seatbelt enforcement is conducted in conjunction with the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office (KTSRO), KDOT, and the Kansas SAFE (Seatbelts Are For Everyone) program.
“Failing to buckle up continues to be an all-too-familiar cause of death in traffic crashes. Crashes, that in many instances, would have been survivable had the occupant(s) been wearing a seat belt,” said KHP Superintendent, Colonel Mark Bruce. “This is particularly true with our teen drivers and passengers.”
The Kansas SAFE program began in 2008, in southeast Kansas. It is a teen run, peer to peer program, focused on increasing teen restraint compliance through education, positive rewards, and enforcement. It is designed to bring awareness to the importance of wearing a seatbelt, reducing the number of motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities among Kansas teens. The goal of SAFE is to increase seatbelt use among students, while providing strong traffic safety messages throughout the school year. Currently, 128 schools from 61 counties are participating in the program.
“Much progress has been made in improving the rate of compliance with the state’s occupant protection laws, but much work remains to be done,” Bruce said.
In 2014, Kansas lost 34 teens (ages 13-19) in crashes, with 63% of those victims not being properly restrained. The hope of the enforcement is to work to increase education and enforcement on seatbelt laws. KDOT, KTSRO, and law enforcement partners across the state have spent more than 20 years educating Kansas teens on the dangers of driving without a seatbelt.
Kansas Highway Patrol news release