Martley: Click It or Ticket just around the corner
Beginning Monday and continuing through Sunday, June 3, drivers can expect increased police presence as the Basehor Police Department joins more than 150 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2012 Kansas Click It or Ticket traffic enforcement campaign. This activity is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Expect strict enforcement of the Safety Belt Use and Child Passenger Safety Acts. These acts require that all occupants must be appropriately restrained. Occupants ages 14 and older are cited individually. In the event that a passenger under the age of 14 is unrestrained, the driver will be cited. Children under the age of 4 must be secured in an approved child safety seat. 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. Children ages 8 through 13 must be safety-belted. In addition, the act 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. According to KDOT’s Traffic Safety section, more than two-thirds of those killed in crashes are not belted in. Just as striking is the fact that about 89 percent of crash survivors who suffer no injuries at all are belted in. In other words, an unrestrained occupant has only about an 11 percent chance of not being injured in a crash. And all for simply not taking two seconds to buckle up.
Everyone knows there are seat belt laws and that seat belts and child safety seats save lives and reduce injury, as well as hold down health care costs for all of us. 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. But when a crash does happen, it’s generally within five miles from home.
When you don’t buckle up yourself or require that your passengers buckle up, you’re making the decision for everyone in your vehicle that the drivers you meet are not going to be distracted by sleepiness, cell phone conversations, texting, changing radio stations or kids fighting in the back seat. And you’re assuming for everyone, that no animal, roadway or mechanical problem will cause you to suddenly brake or veer out of your lane. I want people to know that the Basehor Police Department is committed to aggressively ticketing violators of seat belt and child safety laws, and all other traffic infractions that make our streets and highways unsafe.