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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Click It or Ticket just around the corner

  • Beginning Monday and continuing through June 1, drivers can expect increased police presence on city streets as the McPherson Police Department joins 150 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2014 Kansas Click It or Ticket traffic enforcement campaign.
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  • Beginning Monday and continuing through June 1, drivers can expect increased police presence on city streets as the McPherson Police Department joins 150 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2014 Kansas Click It or Ticket traffic enforcement campaign.
    This activity is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
    Drivers can expect strict enforcement of both the Safety Belt Use Act and the Child Passenger Safety Act. Briefly, these acts require that all occupants must be appropriately restrained.
    Law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue tickets when they observe front seat occupants or children younger than 14 riding without proper restraint. Occupants ages 14 and older are cited individually. 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. Children ages 4 through 7 must be securely belted into an approved booster seat unless taller that 4 feet 9 inches or heavier than 80 pounds. Children ages 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. For answers to child safety restraint questions and the location of the nearest safety seat fitting station or technician, contact the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at 1-800-416-2522 or ktsro@dccca.org.
    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 Office, almost half of those killed in crashes are not belted in. At the same time, fully 98 percent of crash occupants who suffer no injuries of any kind are belted in.
    In general, unrestrained occupants who are involved in a crash have, at most, only about an 8 percent chance of not suffering some degree of injury. And all for simply not taking the few moments necessary to secure themselves and ensure their passengers are also secured.
    Kansas’ adult seat belt compliance rate is 81 percent and ranges by county from 57 to 95 percent, with higher rates generally associated with urban counties. Overall, one out of five Kansas drivers are putting themselves at risk of injury or death by not taking three seconds to click.
    Given that unrestrained vehicle occupants are much more likely to die in crashes than are those who buckle in, it is no surprise that lower restraint usage rates in rural areas are associated with a higher crash fatality rate. In fact, in Kansas, while only about one-third of all crashes occur on rural roadways, those roads see two-thirds of all crashes with fatalities. This is frequently due to vehicles in rural areas unintentionally leaving their driving lane and colliding with off-road obstacles, such as culverts, and/or rolling over and ejecting their unbelted occupants.
    Page 2 of 2 - One of the grimmest duties a police officer is called upon to perform is to work a crash where an unrestrained occupant is either partially or completely ejected, and then crushed by the rolling vehicle. Urban motorists are more likely to be belted and less likely to leave the road. While seat belts may not always protect from serious or fatal injury, certainly no other piece of equipment within the vehicle provides more protection.
    Kansans like to see their state as one that protects children, and 97 percent of its children ages 0 to 4 are buckled in to child safety seats. However, the proportion of Kansas children ages 5 to 14 who are properly restrained drops to 80 percent. As it is with adults, so it is with child occupants, in that those in rural counties are less likely to be property restrained than those in urban counties. Sadly, 70 percent of Kansas drivers who choose not to buckle in themselves also fail to buckle in their child passengers.
    According to Lt. Neufeld, “Everyone knows there are seat belt laws and that seat belt laws 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 they don't require their passengers to buckle up because, in their experience, a crash is unlikely. But, when a crash does happen, the four seconds it takes to buckle up looks like a smart investment. I want drivers in McPherson 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.
    “When you don't buckle up yourself or require your passengers to buckle up, you're making the decision for yourself, your passengers and the families and friends of each of you that the drivers you encounter on the road are not going to be critically affected by drug or medical impairment, sleepiness, cell phone conversations, texting, sloshing coffee, the radio dial or kids fighting in the back seat. And you're assuming that no animal, mechanical or roadway circumstance will cause you to suddenly slow or veer out of your lane.
    “I want people to know that the McPherson 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 unsafe.”
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