Safety Week-STEP Mobilization
Feb. 1, 2003 (03-006)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rosalie Thornburgh, (785) 296-3756
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 Highway Traffic Safety
Administration is promoting Child Passenger Safety Week, Feb. 9-15 by conducting
a weeklong law enforcement mobilization.
“When correctly used, child safety seat 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 77 local law enforcement
agencies will increase patrols, conduct public awareness activities and hold
safety seat check lanes during the mobilization.
One Kansas Clicks Mobilization was conducted in November 2002 focusing on
occupant protection and impaired driving resulting in 5,541 citations being
issued. Those citations included 1,335 seat belt violations, 314 child restraint
violations, 3,688 speeding violations and 177 DUI arrests.
According to the 2001 KDOT Safety Belt survey, only 61 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 Miller.
Participating agencies include the Kansas Highway Patrol, the police departments
of Chetopa, Claflin, Coffeyville, Colwich, Derby, El Dorado, Ellsworth, Enterprise,
Erie, Frontenac, Garden City, Garden Plain, Hays, Herington, Hoisington, Holcomb,
Holton, Holyrood, Hutchinson, Junction City, Kansas City, La Crosse, Lake Quivira,
Lansing, Larned, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Lenexa, Lyons, maize, McPherson, Merriam,
Moline, Olathe, Osawatomie, Overland Park, Park City, Parsons, Pratt, Salina,
Shawnee, Topeka, Towanda, Waterville, Wellington, Wichita, and Winfield; and
the sheriff’s offices in the following counties; Allen, Atchison, Barton,
Clay, Crawford, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Greeley, Harper, Hodgeman, Jackson, Johnson,
Lane, Lincoln, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Mitchell, Morton, Osage, Reno, Rooks,
Rush, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Sherman, Smith, and Wilson.
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.
KDOT is a member of the Governor’s Substance
Abuse Prevention Council united in the vision that Kansas communities become
places where all children are safe, protected, nurtured, and supported in reaching
their fullest potential.