Wednesday, July 23, 2014

‘Click It or Ticket’ targets seat belts

By The Herald Staff | 5/22/2013

Local motorists can expect an increased police presence as the Ottawa Police Department participates in the 2013 Kansas Click It or Ticket traffic enforcement campaign that started Monday and continues through June 2, according to a police news release.

Drivers can expect “strict enforcement” of the Safety Belt Use Act and the Child Passenger Safety Act, the release said.

That legislation requires all occupants be appropriately restrained, and law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue tickets when they observe front seat occupants, or children younger than 14, riding without proper restraint, the release said.

Occupants 14 and older are cited individually, the release said, and in the event that a passenger younger than 14 is observed to be unrestrained, the driver will be cited.

Children younger than 4 must be secured in an approved child safety seat, and children, ages 4 through 7, must be securely belted into an approved booster seat unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches or heavier than 80 pounds, the release said. Children, 8 through 13 must be safety-belted. In addition, the act prohibits persons younger than 14 from riding in any part of a vehicle not intended for carrying passengers, such as a pickup bed, the release said.  

For answers to child safety restraint questions and the location of the nearest safety seat-fitting station or technician, call the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at (800) 416-2522 or go to ktsro@dccca.org

“Everyone knows there are seat belt laws and that seat belts and child safety seats save lives and reduce injuries, but too many drivers play the odds and don’t buckle up, or require their passengers to buckle up because, in their experience, a crash is unlikely,” Capt. Adam Weingartner, with the Ottawa Police Department, said. “But, when a crash does happen — and it’s generally within five miles from home — the four seconds it takes to buckle up looks like a smart idea. I want drivers in Ottawa to remember that it’s not only about your driving skills, but it’s also about the skills, habits and circumstances of the drivers sharing the road with you.”

Seat belt and child safety laws will be strictly enforced, Weingartner said.

“I want people to know that the Ottawa Police Department is committed to aggressively ticketing violators of seat belt and child safety laws, and all other traffic infractions — such as speeding and texting while driving — that make our streets and highways unsafe,” Weingartner said.

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