CARBONDALE—The Carbondale Police Department will join other Kansas law enforcement agencies beginning Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 to stop what has been likened to an epidemic in Kansas. In 2014, 28 children ages birth to 17 lost their lives due to car crashes in Kansas. Sadly, half of those children were not wearing seatbelts, and eight of them were ejected from the vehicle.
“In the health field, they talk about making sure children have received their immunizations to prevent deadly diseases,” Chief Smith said. “But what many parents don’t think about is that wearing a seatbelt properly is the best prevention of serious injury or death in a vehicle.”
According to the 2016 Kansas observational seatbelt survey, children are much more likely to be buckled up if the driver is wearing their seatbelt. If the driver is buckled, about 96 percent of the children are restrained. If the driver is not buckled, only about 27 percent of the observed children were buckled. Adults need to model good driving behaviors for children.
Starting on Halloween, law enforcement across Kansas will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around schools. For more than 20 years, officers have educated and warned drivers and passengers regarding the importance of using seatbelts while in their vehicle.
There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort. Officers will issue citations to anyone who does not obey Kansas law.
“Even one child’s death is unacceptable,” Chief Smith said. “Please slow down, especially in school zones, eliminate the distractions, and always buckle up.”
For the latest data and to see more about Kansas safety belt laws, go to: www.ktsro.org .