Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to School Time Again

The Overland Park Police Department wants to make sure things go smoothly this year as students begin to hit the sidewalks, crosswalks and bus stops. As school begins to get back into the swing of things, officers will be paying special attention to these areas to encourage motorists to be cautious and on the lookout for children.

Whether you're transporting children to and from school, or just driving through, it's always a good idea to allow extra time for getting around on the roadways, especially during the morning and afternoon school rush hours.

If your child walks to school, rides the bus, or travels by car, teach your kids important safety tips to ensure they get to and from school safely.

Always remember to buckle up your child with the proper child restraint or safety belt while riding in a car. Wearing a seat belt is the best prevention of injury or death in a vehicle. (see guide below)

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.

Drivers on the roadways of Overland Park can expect strict enforcement of the Safety Belt Use and Child Passenger Safety Acts.

Briefly, these acts require that all persons in a motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1968 or assembled prior to 1968 which was manufactured with safety belts carrying 10 passengers or fewer, including vans, must be buckled in. In the event that a passenger under the age of 14 is unrestrained, the driver will be cited. Where a driver or passenger aged 14 through 17, is seen to be unrestrained, that person will be cited.

Children under the age of four must be secured in an approved child safety seat; children ages four through seven who are under 80 pounds and under 4’9” tall must be securely belted into an approved booster seat; and children ages eight through 13 must be secured in a safety belt.

Please slow down and be safe, especially in school zones, eliminate the distractions, and always buckle up.