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Child Passenger Safety Week-STEP Mobilization


February 1, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Contact:  Rosalie Thornburgh, (785) 296-3756

Child Passenger Safety Week-STEP Mobilization

Law enforcement agencies across Kansas will continue the fight against unnecessary deaths and injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes targeting children who are riding unrestrained without seat belts or safety seats.  The Kansas Department of Transportation in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is promoting Child Passenger Safety Week, February 10-16, 2002, by conducting a weeklong law enforcement mobilization.

“When correctly used, child safety seats are 71 percent effective in preventing fatalities.  Along with that, correctly used seats are 67 percent effective in reducing the need for hospitalization,” said E. Dean Carlson, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

During this weeklong mobilization, law enforcement agencies participating in the Kansas Clicks Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) sponsored by KDOT will be enforcing the Kansas child passenger safety law by stepping up enforcement efforts.  The Kansas Highway Patrol and … local law enforcement agencies will increase patrols, conduct public awareness activities and hold safety seat check lanes during the mobilization.

Two Kansas Clicks Mobilizations were conducted in November and December 2001 focusing on occupant protection and impaired driving resulting in … citations being issued.  Those citations included … seat belt violations, … speeding violations and … DUI arrests.

According to the 2001 KDOT Safety Belt survey, only 60 percent of those surveyed, ages 14 and older use their seat belt.  That number decreases to a 52 percent usage rate for children between the ages of 4 and 14, however, 92 percent of children under 4 years of age are secured in a child safety seat. “The Kansas Clicks STEP program will work to raise those numbers by increasing the enforcement of occupant protection laws throughout the state,” said Carlson.

Participating agencies include the Kansas Highway Patrol, the police departments of Baxter Springs, Bel Aire, Chetopa, Coffeyville, Columbus, Colwich, Dodge City, Edwardsville, El Dorado, Ellsworth, Emporia, Enterprise, Frontenac, Garden City, Girard, Goessel, Hays, Hill City, Hoisington, Holton, Hutchinson, Kansas City, KS, Kingman, La Harpe, Lake Quivira, Lansing, Larned, Leavenworth, Leon, Maize, Mission, Moran, Oberlin, Olathe, Overbrook, Overland Park, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, Prairie Village, Pratt, Salina, Shawnee, St. George, St. Marys, Sterling, Stockton, Tonganoxie, Topeka, Towanda, Wathena, Wellsville, Wichita, and the sheriff’s offices in Allen, Barton, Chautauqua, Coffey, Franklin, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jackson, Johnson, Labette, Linn, McPherson, Miami, Morton, Osage, Osborne, Rawlins, Reno, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick, Seward, Shawnee, Stanton, and Wallace counties.

For more information on the Kansas Clicks Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) please contact Rosalie Thornburgh at the Kansas Department of Transportation – Bureau of Traffic Safety at 785-296-3756.