MCPHERSON, Kan. — From now through September 23, 2023, the McPherson Police Department will join other Kansas law enforcement agencies to stop what has been likened to an epidemic in Kansas. In 2019, 8 children ages 0-13 lost their lives due to car crashes in Kansas. Sadly, 62% of those children were not wearing their seat belts.
Wearing a seatbelt properly 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 be buckled up if the driver is wearing their seatbelt. If the driver is buckled, about 97% of the children are restrained. If the driver is not buckled, only about 30% of the observed children were buckled. We want adults to model safe driving behaviors for children.
Law enforcement across Kansas will be extra vigilant this week when patrolling around schools. For more than 20 years, officers have educated and warned drivers and passengers regarding the importance of using seatbelts while in their vehicles. There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort. Officers will issue citations to anyone who does not obey Kansas law.
Police Chief Mikel Golden says, “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 to see more about Kansas safety belt laws, go to www.ktsro.org.