Through September 20, the McPherson Police Department is joining other Kansas Law Enforcement agencies to stop injuring and killing unbuckled children, which has been likened to an epidemic in Kansas.
In 2013, 28 children ages 0-17 lost their lives due to car crashes in Kansas. Sadly, 18 of those children were not wearing their seat belts, and 16 of the 18 were ejected from the vehicle.
"The health field discusses making sure children receive immunizations to prevent deadly diseases," according to McPherson Police Lt. Stan Neufeld, "but many parents may not consider that wearing a seat belt is the best prevention of injury or death in a vehicle."
According to the 2014 Kansas observational seatbelt survey, children are much more likely to be buckled up if the driver is wearing their seat belt. If the driver is buckled, about 96% of the children are also restrained. If the driver is not buckled, on 21% of the observed children were buckled. We want adults to model good driver behavior for the children.
Throughout National Child Passenger Safety Week, law enforcement across Kansas will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around schools. For more than twenty years, officers have educated and warned drivers and passengers regarding the importance of using seat belts 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.
Lt. Neufeld says, "Even one child's death is unacceptable. 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