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Slow Down and Buckle Up This Labor Day


August 20, 2003 Release 03-113

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Rosalie Thornburgh or Pati Pomeroy
KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety: (785) 296-3756

Slow Down and Buckle Up This Labor Day

As you travel this Labor Day holiday, make it a safe one by buckling up your family and watching your speed. Speeding is one of the primary contributing factors for traffic crashes in the state of Kansas. Law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force during this Labor Day holiday, enforcing the speed limit and occupant protection laws.

This Kansas Clicks mobilization is a stepped-up, coordinated enforcement effort during the Labor Day holiday, from Aug. 29 – Sept. 2. The Kansas Highway Patrol and 62 local law enforcement agencies will enhance enforcement and public awareness efforts during the week.

“Law enforcement works diligently to help keep our Kansas streets and highways safe,” said Deb Miller, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation. “The purpose of the Kansas Clicks mobilization is to raise driver awareness of the importance of slowing down and buckling up this holiday weekend to prevent fatalities and keep our citizens safe.”

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 not obeying the posted speed limits or securing their children in safety seats or belts. 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 speed-related crashes in 2001 was 8,587 and 134 people were killed. Speed-related crashes rose to 8,769 in 2002, and deaths increased to 142.

“The Kansas Clicks STEP program will work to decrease those numbers by raising enforcement and education of speed limit and seat belt laws throughout the state,” said Miller. In the United States during 2001, speed was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, and 12,850 lives were lost in speed-related crashes.

Enforcement mobilizations will be conducted across the state from Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, by the Kansas Highway Patrol and participating local law enforcement agencies, including the police departments of Baldwin City, Belle Plaine, Coffeyville, El Dorado, Ellsworth, Emporia, Enterprise, Erie, Garden City, Hays, Hoisington, Holcomb, Holton, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lansing, Leavenworth, Maize, McPherson, Merriam, Mission, Nickerson, Olathe, Overbrook, Overland Park, Park City, Prairie Village, Salina, Scranton, Shawnee, St. Marys, Topeka, Towanda, Udall, Waterville, Wellington, Wichita.

Sheriff’s offices will be participating in the counties of Allen, Atchison, Barton, Douglas, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Greeley, Greenwood, Jackson, Logan, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Morton, Neosho, Osage, Reno, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Sherman, Smith, and Wilson.