Seat belt enforcement campaign to focus on Kansas high schools – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Seat belt enforcement campaign to focus on Kansas high schools

Beginning Feb. 20, 2017, and running through March 5, 2017, the Kansas Highway Patrol and area law enforcement agencies will participate in the annual “High Visibility Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign” around area high schools. This initiative is coupled with the Seatbelts 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, and focuses on reducing deaths and injuries on Kansas roadways. Currently, 152 high schools from 66 Kansas counties participate in the SAFE program statewide.

In 2015, according to Kansas Department of Transportation statistics, Kansas lost 13 high school teens in motor vehicle crashes. Of those teens, nearly 40 percent were not properly restrained.  The KDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology is spearheading this two-week awareness campaign in hope of decreasing serious injuries and fatalities to teens by increasing seat belt usage. KDOT and law enforcement partners across the state have spent more than 20 years educating Kansas teens on the dangers of driving or riding without a seat belt.

In 2015, the observed seat belt rate in Kansas for the ages of 15-17 was 85 percent. The seat belt usage rate for the same age group was 61 percent in 2008-09, demonstrating the SAFE program is making a difference for Kansas youth.

“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 Col. Mark Bruce, Kansas Highway Patrol superintendent. “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.”

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