Click it or Ticket is on its way

Beginning on Monday, May 23, and continuing through Sunday, June 5, drivers can expect increased police presence on city streets as the Galena Police Department joins almost 150 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2016 Kansas Click It or Ticket campaign.  This activity is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).  Enforcement will occur around the clock.  Officers will be especially vigilant at night because the likelihood of seatbelt use at night is much lower than during the day and the percentage of unrestrained crash deaths soars much higher at night.

Drivers can expect strict enforcement of both the Safety Belt Use Act and the Child Passenger Safety Act. These acts require that all vehicle occupants must be appropriately restrained. Law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue tickets when they observe front seat occupants, teens in any position, or children under the age of 14, riding without being properly restrained.  Occupants, ages 14 and over, are cited individually.  In the event that a passenger under the age of 14 is observed to be unrestrained the driver will be cited.  The fine for an adult violation is $10 (plus the time out for the traffic stop, during which the driver’s license number will likely be called in to dispatch).  The fine for a youth (14-17) violation is $60 (no court costs), while the driver’s fine for a child (0-13) restraint violation is $60 + a court cost charge of at least $98.

Children under the age of four must be correctly secured in an approved child safety seat. Children, ages four through seven, must be securely belted into an approved booster seat unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches or heavier than 80 pounds, in which case, the booster may be removed and the child belted in without it.  Children, ages eight 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.  For answers to child safety restraint questions and the location of the nearest safety seat fitting station, or safety seat technician, contact the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at 1-800-416-2522, or write 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, fully 57% of those killed in crashes on Kansas roads are not belted in, while 93% of crash occupants who suffer no injuries of any kind are belted in.  So, in general, unrestrained occupants who are involved in a crash have, at most, only about a 7% chance of not suffering some degree of injury.  And all because drivers neglect to ensure that each occupant in their vehicle is properly restrained – an activity that requires only seconds to complete.  While seat belts may not always protect from serious or fatal injury, certainly no other piece of equipment within the vehicle provides more protection.