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Seat belt, child passenger safety enforcement crackdown targets 10 counties in Southeast Kansas


State and local law enforcement are utilizing a special federal grant to step up enforcement of Kansas seat belt and child passenger safety laws in the Cherokee County area, as part of a 10-county enhanced enforcement effort. This will include the cities and police departments of Baxter Springs, Columbus, and Galena.

The enforcement campaign is designed to promote a higher level of seat belt usage and compliance with seatbelt laws in rural areas of the state. Kansas Department of Transportation officials noted that seat belt and child passenger safety seat usage rates in the Southeastern part of the state are well below the state usage rate. Counties included in the campaign are Allen, Bourbon, Cherokee, Cowley, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson.

Local law enforcement officials support the effort. “Simply put, we want to insure that our roadways are safe for our residents, and those who travel through Cherokee County,” said Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves.

“We know from KDOT observational surveys that when a driver sets the example of wearing a seatbelt, about 92 percent of the children observed are belted. In stark contrast, when a driver is not belted, only about 23 percent of the children are buckled up. Our challenge is to get the attention of our children, our teens, and especially our adults who influence Kansas youth…before a tragedy occurs.”

The rural seat belt enforcement campaign is a life-saving effort of KDOT’s Traffic Safety Section, in cooperation with state and local law enforcement agencies.

The specialized enforcement period will be Monday, March 22 through Sunday, March 28, 2010.


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