Beginning on September 14th and lasting through September 20th, the Overland Park Police Department will join other Kansas law enforcement agencies in an effort to prevent children from being injured or killed in automobile crashes.
In 2013, 28 children, ages 0-17 lost their lives due to car crashes in Kansas. Sadly, 18 of those children were not wearing their seat belts, and 16 of the 18 were ejected from the vehicle. Wearing a seat belt is the best prevention of injury or death in a vehicle.
According to the 2014 Kansas observational seatbelt survey, children are much more likely to be buckled up if the driver is wearing their seat belt. If the driver is buckled, about 96% of the children are restrained. If the driver is not buckled, only about 21% of the observed children were buckled. We want adults to model good driver behavior for the children.
Throughout National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 14-20, law enforcement across Kansas will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around schools. For more than twenty years, officers have educated and warned drivers and passengers regarding the importance of using seat belts while in their vehicle. There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort. Officers will issue citations to individuals who do not obey Kansas law. Please slow down and be safe, especially in school zones, eliminate the distractions, and always buckle up.
Sgt. Scott Ferguson
Overland Park Traffic Safety Unit