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Child Passenger Safety Week-STEP Mobilization

January 30, 2004 (04-008)


News Contact: Pati O’Hara, (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 (KDOT) in conjunction with the National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration is promoting Child Passenger Safety Week, February 8-14, 2003, by conducting a weeklong law enforcement mobilization.

“When correctly used, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatalities by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. Along with that, correctly used seats are 69 percent effective in reducing the need for hospitalization,” said Deb Miller, Secretary of 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 67 local law enforcement agencies will increase patrols, conduct public awareness activities and hold safety seat check lanes during the mobilization.

The Kansas Clicks Mobilization conducted in November 2003 focusing on occupant protection and impaired driving resulted in 5,872 citations being issued.Those citations included 1,332 seat belt violations, 228 child restraint violations, 4,162 speeding violations and 150 DUI arrests.

According to the 2003 KDOT Safety Belt survey, only 64 percent of those surveyed, ages 14 and older use their seat belt. That number decreases to a 44 percent usage rate for children between the ages of 10 and 14, 45 percent usage rate for children between the ages of five and nine, and 79 percent of children under 4 years of age are secured in a child safety seat. "Rates for children in these categories are alarming and the problems will be addressed. The Kansas Clicks STEP program will work to raise those numbers by increasing the enforcement of occupant protection laws throughout the state,” said Miller.

Participating agencies include the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Police Departments of Altamont, Cherryvale, Coffeyville, Columbus, Eastborough, El Dorado, Ellsworth, Fort Scott, Frontenac, Galena, Garden City, Grandview Plaza, Hays, Herington, Hoisington, Holcomb, Holton, Hutchinson, Junction City, Kansas City, Lake Quivera, Lansing, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Lenexa, Mission, North Newton, Nortonville, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Rose Hill, Rossville, Russell, Salina, Shawnee, St. Marys, Topeka, Towanda, Washburn University, and Wichita, and the Sheriff’s Offices of Atchison, Barton, Butler, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Greeley, Hodgeman, Jackson, Lane, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Morton, Reno, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick, Seward, Shawnee, Smith, and Wilson.


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