05/15/2019

Click It Or Ticket Enforcement Campaign Scheduled Over Memorial Day

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Click It or Ticket is Just Ahead

Motorists traveling between Monday, May 20th and Sunday, June 2nd can expect to see an increase in law enforcement presence on roadways throughout Cherokee County as the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office joins over 180 other agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2019 Kansas Click It or Ticket campaign.  Funding for this special enforcement campaign is provided by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).  Enforcement will occur around the clock because seatbelt use diminishes after nightfall, meaning the likelihood of unbelted crash injuries and deaths soars during those hours.

Drivers will encounter strict enforcement of both the Kansas Safety Belt Use Act and the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act.  These statutes require that all vehicle occupants must be appropriately restrained.  Law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue tickets when they observe occupants riding unrestrained or without proper restraint.  Occupants, ages 14 and over, are cited individually.  If a passenger under the age of 14 is observed to be unrestrained the driver will be cited.  The fine for an adult (18+) seat belt violation is $30.  The fine for a youth (14-17) violation is $60, while the fine for a child (0-13) restraint violation is $60 plus a court cost charge of as much as $108.

Children under the age of four must be correctly secured in an approved child safety seat.  Children, ages four through seven, must be securely belted into an approved booster seat unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches or heavier than 80 pounds, in which case, the booster may be removed, and the child belted in without it.  Children, ages eight through 13, must be safety-belted.  In addition, Kansas law prohibits persons under the age of 14 from riding in any part of a vehicle not intended for carrying passengers, such as a pickup bed. 

The aim of Click It or Ticket is simple:  to drastically reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries that occur when unbelted drivers and passengers are involved in traffic crashes.  About 345 persons are involved in 170 crashes each day in Kansas.  According to KDOT ninety-three percent of them are buckled in.  As for those who are not strapped in, only 7% of them are likely to escape without injury.  While seat belts may not always prevent from serious or fatal injury, certainly no other piece of equipment within the vehicle provides more protection.   

Kansas’ overall adult seat belt compliance rate is 84% and ranges, by county, from 71% to 96%, with occupants in rural counties generally less likely to buckle up than those in urban counties.  According to KDOT, this rural-urban difference in rates of buckling up is especially problematic because rural roadway conditions are, in general, less forgiving than those in urban areas, and the consequences of driver misjudgment – such as unsafe speed and failure to buckle up – are likely to be more severe in the event of a crash.  It is easy to see why almost two-thirds of Kansas’ fatality crashes occur on rural roadways while these roads account for only one-third of all crashes. 

As for child passenger safety, Kansans like to see their state as one which protects children, and it does well with its youngest ones.  Overall, those aged 0-4, are buckled in to child safety seats at the rate of 97%.  However, only 87% of 5- to 14-year olds are properly restrained.  This means that 1 out of 8 Kansas children, aged 5-14, are made especially vulnerable while traveling by the failure of their drivers to restrain them.  In 70% of those cases the driver is also unbelted.   

 

 

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