Local Law Enforcement to Participate in the 2019 Kansas Click It or Ticket Campaign

Local Law Enforcement to Participate in the 2019 Kansas Click It or Ticket Campaign

Beginning on Monday, May 20th and continuing through Sunday, June 2nd, travelers can expect increased police presence on city streets and county roadways as the Concordia Police Department and the Cloud County Sheriff’s Department join 180 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2019 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 because seatbelt use diminishes after nightfall, meaning the likelihood of unbelted crash injuries and deaths soars during those hours.

Drivers will be confronted with 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 occupants riding unrestrained or without proper restraint.  Occupants, ages 14 and over, are cited individually.  If a passenger under the age of 14 is observed to be unrestrained the driver will be cited.  The fine for an adult (18+) seat belt violation is $30.  The fine for a youth (14-17) violation is $60, while the fine for a child (0-13) restraint violation is $60 plus a court cost charge of as much as $108.

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, Kansas 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 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.  About 345 persons are involved in 170 crashes each day in Kansas.  According to KDOT, ninety-three percent of them are buckled in.  As for those who are not strapped in, only 7% of them are likely to escape without injury.  While seat belts may not always prevent 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 84% and ranges, by county, from 71% 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 in the event of a crash.  It is easy to see why almost two-thirds of Kansas’ fatality crashes occur on rural roadways while these roads account for only one-third of all crashes.

As for child passenger safety, 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 into child safety seats at the rate of 97%.  However, only 87% of 5- to 14-year olds are properly restrained.  This means that 1 out of 8 Kansas children, aged 5-14, are made especially vulnerable while traveling by the failure of their drivers to restrain them.  In 70% of those cases the driver is also unbelted.

According to Chief Ric Fredrickson and Sheriff Brian Marks, “We want people in Concordia and Cloud County 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, as well as family and friends, that no circumstance will arise that will activate seat belts, whether it be chemical impairment, distraction, sleepiness, kids fighting in the back seat, etc. either in their own vehicle or in the other vehicles they meet on the road."

“We want people to know that day or night, the Concordia Police Department and the Cloud County Sheriff’s Department are committed to aggressively ticketing violators of adult seat belt and child safety laws, as well as other traffic infractions, 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 at least $30 to the court.  So, use your belt and save yourself the trouble."