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Buckle Up and Drive Sober This Independence Day


June 26, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Buckle Up and Drive Sober This Independence Day

As you travel this Independence Day holiday, make it a memorable one by driving safe and sober. Alcohol is one of the primary contributing factors for traffic crashes in the state of Kansas and law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force during this Independence Day holiday, enforcing the drunk driving and occupant protection laws.

This Kansas Clicks mobilization is a stepped-up, coordinated enforcement effort during the Independence Day holiday, July 2 thru July 8, 2002. The Kansas Highway Patrol and 65 local law enforcement agencies will enhance enforcement and public awareness efforts during the week.

“Law enforcement works diligently to help keep our Kansas roads and highways safe,” said E. Dean Carlson, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation. “The Kansas Clicks mobilization helps raise driver awareness of the importance of driving sober and buckling up this holiday weekend.”

The mobilization, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation, is a coordinated effort where troopers and local law enforcement agencies will be targeting drivers who are driving under the influence. Increased patrols and other strategies will be utilized.

The Kansas Clicks mobilizations also involve a special element, the Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), a KDOT program which helps local agencies pay overtime for officers enforcing occupant protection laws and emphasizing highway safety priorities.

According to KDOT statistics, the total number of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes in 2001 was 3,611. In 2001, the total number of persons involved in those alcohol-related crashes was 7,313 resulting in 2,508 injuries, and 96 deaths. “The Kansas Clicks STEP program will work to decrease those numbers by raising enforcement and education of drinking and driving laws throughout the state,” said Carlson. In the United States during 2000, alcohol was a contributing factor in 40 percent of all fatal crashes, and 16,653 lives were lost in alcohol-related crashes.

Enforcement mobilizations will be conducted across the state from July 2 through July 8 by Kansas Highway Patrol troopers and participating local law enforcement agencies, including the police departments of Bel Aire, Belle Plaine, Claflin, Coffeyville, Columbus, Edwardsville, El Dorado, Ellinwood, Ellsworth, Emporia, Enterprise, Garden City, Hays, Hoisington, Holton, Hutchinson, Iola, Kansas City, KS, KSU, Lansing, Leavenworth, Lindsberg, Louisburg, Mariam, Marysville, Merriam, Overland Park, Park City, Praire Village, Pratt, Riley County, Salina, Shawnee, Topeka, Wathena, and the sheriff’s offices of Allen Co., Barton Co., Clay Co., Cloud Co., Ford Co., Franklin Co., Geary Co., Graham Co., Haskell Co., Hodgeman Co., Jackson Co., Jewell Co., Johnson Co., Linn Co., Logan Co., Marion Co., Marshall Co., McPherson Co., Miami Co., Montgomery Co., Morton Co., Osage Co., Pratt Co., Republic Co., Saline Co., Sedgwick Co., Seward Co., Shawnee Co., Wallace Co., Wilson Co.

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.