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KDOT Encourages Driving Safe And Sober This Holiday

Dec. 7, 2000 (Release 00-186)
News Contact: Rosalie Thornburgh (785)296-3756

  KDOT Encourages Driving Safe and Sober this Holiday

Despite aggressive efforts and increased awareness across Kansas, safety belt usage rates have stalled in the 60 percent range. The Kansas Department of Transportation is hoping holiday enforcement helps reverse the trend. "This is all the more reason to continue stepped up mobilization efforts during the holiday season," said E. Dean Carlson, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). "Enforcing occupant protection laws and watching for impaired drivers will be a high priority." The Kansas Clicks Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) conducted December 14-20 will focus on safety belt use, which has sagged to 61 percent, a marginal decrease of two percent from the 1999 reported usage rates for adults in Kansas. Usage rates for children ages 4-14 also show a two percent decrease from 57 percent in 1999 to 55 percent in 2000. However, child safety seat usage for infants under four years of age, remains the same at 81 percent. "Recent data released from the KDOT annual survey brings attention to the need for increased enforcement and community public awareness throughout the state," said Carlson. "KDOT is addressing this issue through its year-long schedule of Kansas Clicks mobilizations." The KDOT Safety Belt Use Observational Survey was conducted by Kansas State University, under contract with KDOT, using methodology developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The survey includes observation of safety equipment used by occupants of motor vehicles from all states traveling Kansas roadways. Kansas Clicks mobilizations began with the first mobilization during the Thanksgiving holiday. The December mobilization emphasizes impaired driving in conjunction with other 3 D (Drunk and Drugged Driving) activities. Mobilizations will also be held in February, and during the holidays of Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Forty-six local law enforcement agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol have committed to participate in the December STEP mobilization. Local agencies include the police departments of Buhler, Chetopa, Columbus, Eastborough, Enterprise, El Dorado, Garden City, Goessel, Hays, Highland, Hoisington, Holton, Hutchinson, Kansas City, La Harpe, Lansing, Leavenworth, Maize, Olathe, Overbrook, Overland Park, Park City, Pawnee Rock, Pratt, Salina, Seneca, South Haven, Topeka, Towanda, Wathena, and Westwood and the sheriff's offices of Butler, Franklin, Hodgeman, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Marshall, Miami, Osage, Reno, Rush, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Stanton, and Stevens counties.

This page last updated 12/07/00