Beginning Monday February 20th through March 5th the Riley County Police Department will join other Law Enforcement agencies in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma participating in the annual “High Visibility Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign” around area high schools. This initiative is coupled with the Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) program in Kansas high schools. SAFE is a locally sustained program, administered by the students of the high school they attend, and focuses on reducing deaths and injuries on Kansas roadways.

In 2015, according to Kansas Department of Transportation statistics, Kansas lost 13 high school teens in motor vehicle crashes. Of those, nearly 40 percent were not properly restrained. The KDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology is spearheading this two-week awareness campaign in hopes of decreasing serious injuries and crash fatalities to teens by increasing seat belt usage. KDOT and law enforcement partners across the state have spent over 20 years educating Kansas teens on the danger of driving or riding without a seat belt.

In 2015, the observed seat belt rate in Kansas for the ages of 15-17 was 85%. The seat belt usage rate for the same age group was 61% in 2008-2009, demonstrating the SAFE program is making a difference for Kansas Youth.

During this 2 week period, law enforcement across the tristate area will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around schools. There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort. Officers will issue citations to any individual who is speeding, texting or failing to buckle up.

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Source: KMAN Local News