Click It or Ticket is on its way
Beginning on Monday, May 21, and continuing through Sunday, June 3, travelers can expect increased police presence on city streets as the Valley Center Police Dept. joins 160 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2018 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 seatbelt use diminishes after nightfall, meaning the likelihood of unrestrained crash injuries and deaths soars during those hours.
Drivers can expect strict enforcement of both the Kansas Safety Belt Use Act and the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act. These statutes 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 seat 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 seat belt violation is $30 – a $20 increase passed overwhelmingly by the 2017 Kansas Legislature. The fine for a youth (14-17) violation is $60, while the fine for a child (0-13) restraint violation is $60 + a court cost charge of $78.50
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 law 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
he 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 92% of crash occupants who suffer no injuries of any kind are belted in. At the other end of the scale only 45% of those who suffer fatal injuries are belted in. While seat belts may not always protect from serious or fatal injury, certainly no other piece of equipment within the vehicle provides more protection.
Kansas’ overall adult seat belt compliance rate is 82% and ranges, by county, from 61% to 96%, with occupants in rural counties generally less likely to buckle up than those in urban counties. According to KDOT, this rural-urban difference in rates of buckling up is especially problematic because rural roadway conditions are, in general, less forgiving than those in urban areas, and the consequences of driver misjudgment – such as unsafe speed and failure to buckle up – are likely to be more severe. It is easy to see why fully two-thirds of Kansas’ fatality crashes occur on rural roadways even though they see only one-third of all crashes.
Kansans like to see their state as one which protects children, and it does well with its youngest ones: overall, those aged 0-4, are buckled in to child safety seats at the rate of 97%. However, only 84% of 5- to 13-year olds are properly restrained. This means that 1 out of 6 Kansas children, aged 5-13, are made especially vulnerable while traveling by the failure of their drivers to restrain them.
According to Sgt. Matt Vogt, “I want people in Valley Center to remember that when they don’t buckle up themselves, or require their passengers to buckle up, they are, in effect, promising themselves and those passengers, along with family and friends not present, that no circumstance will arise that will ultimately trigger seat belt activation, whether it be due to distraction, sleepiness, kids fighting in the back seat, etc. either in their own vehicle or in the other vehicles they meet on the road.
“I want people to know that, day or night, Valley Center is committed to aggressively ticketing violators of adult seat belt and child safety laws, as well as other traffic infractions – such as speeding and texting while driving – which make the need for occupant restraint so necessary. The stop will be inconvenient, your vehicle and driver’s license numbers will likely be checked for outstanding warrants and insurance, and you’ll pay $30 to the court. So, use your belt and save yourself the trouble.”
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