ACPD to step up seatbelt enforcement this week with emphasis on children safety

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Now through Sept. 23, the Arkansas City Police Department will join other Kansas law enforcement agencies to stop what has been likened to an epidemic in Kansas, the police department announced via a news release Monday.

“In 2019, eight children ages 0-13 died from car crashes in Kansas,” the ACPD stated. “Sadly, 62% of those children were not wearing their seat belts.”

ACPD Chief Eric Burr said wearing seatbelts is a simple way to keep children safe.

“In the health field, they talk about ensuring children have received their immunizations to prevent deadly diseases,” Burr said. “But what many parents don’t think about is that properly wearing a seatbelt is the best prevention of serious injury or death in a vehicle.”

According to the 2019 Kansas observational seatbelt survey, children are much more likely to buckle up if the driver wears their seatbelt. About 97% of the children are restrained if the driver is buckled. Only about 30% of the children observed were buckled if the driver was not.

Until Sept. 23, law enforcement across Kansas will be extra vigilant when patrolling around schools, the ACPD says. For over 20 years, officers have educated and warned drivers and passengers about the importance of using seatbelts in their vehicles.

“There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort,” Burr added. “Officers will issue citations to anyone who does not obey Kansas law. Even one child’s death is unacceptable. Please slow down, especially in school zones, eliminate the distractions, and always buckle up.”

For the latest data and more about Kansas safety belt laws, visit www.ktsro.org.

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