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Kansas adult seatbelt rate shows slight increase, but child seatbelt usage declines


Aug. 23, 2005 ( 05-180)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chris Bortz, KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety, (785) 296-3756

Kansas adult seatbelt rate shows slight increase, but child seatbelt usage declines

There is both good news and reason for concern following the Kansas Department of Transportation’s latest seatbelt survey. Adult seatbelt usage is up one percent to 69 percent for adults, but the seatbelt usage for children has dropped two percent to a 59 percent usage rate.


“Even though the increase is small, it’s encouraging more adult drivers are using seatbelts,” said KDOT Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller. “This is a step in the right direction. However, I’m dismayed by the fact that fewer adults are buckling up their children. It is not acceptable that seatbelt usage in Kansas has declined for children ages 0-14.”


Kansas, along with NHTSA, has adopted and implemented an aggressive national campaign statewide to encourage safety belt use and lower Kansas traffic fatalities. More than $300,000 was invested in statewide Click it or Ticket advertising contributing to enforcement efforts made by police departments, sheriff offices and the Kansas Highway Patrol.


“ The purpose of our Click it or Ticket campaign is to create public awareness that law enforcement is tough on those not wearing seat belts or using child restraints,” Miller said.


Each year KDOT conducts surveys around the state to estimate the percentage of Kansans who are buckling up. Based on federal guidelines the surveys are conducted at nearly 900 sites in 20 randomly selected counties which encompass 85 percent of the population. The child surveys are conducted in March, April and May and the adult surveys are conducted in June and July. The following shows the seatbelt rate for each county surveyed compared to the state.

Adult Seatbelt Rate
 
2004
2005
Johnson
73
82
Leavenworth
71
77
Lyon
72
73
Harvey
70
70
Saline
73
70
Sedgwick
70
69
Kansas
68
69
Seward
70
68
Douglas
68
67
Shawnee
68
67
Cowley
65
65
Ellis
68
64
Neosho
59
63
Wyandotte
65
63
Reno
64
62
Pottawatomie
62
59
Sumner
69
59
Atchison
54
56
Finney
63
56
Crawford
45
49
Montgomery
50
49
Child Seatbelt Rate
  2004
2005
Douglas 70
73
Johnson 75
69
Saline 63
67
Shawnee 60
67
Sedgwick 65
60
Leavenworth 62
59
Pottawatomie 45
59
Kansas 61
59
Ellis 59
58
Atchison 40
57
Harvey 52
55
Reno 57
54
Lyon 62
53
Finney 52
51
Seward 57
51
Wyandotte 47
47
Sumner 46
45
Cowley 43
44
Crawford 37
41
Montgomery 43
41
Neosho 37
36