Thursday, May 10, 2012
Local law enforcement officers will be hitting the streets in an effort to crackdown on drivers and passengers who fail to buckle up.
The statewide enforcement runs from May 21 to June 3.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said seatbelts saved 12,713 lives in 2009 nationwide. Officials estimate more than half of people who died in an accident did not wear a seat belt.
Megan Read, a junior at Pittsburg High School, said she was lucky to survive an accident when she forgot to buckle up.
“Normally it’s the first thing I do,” Read said.
She was a passenger in a car when the driver lost control on a slick road in February. The SUV crossed the center-line, entered the ditch and landed against a tree line. Read said she opened the car door and fell to the ground. The 17-year-old suffered a broken leg in the accident.
“Now when I don’t wear it, I don’t feel comfortable,” Read said.
Kansas lawmakers passed a primary seat belt law in 2010. The measure allows law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle solely for a seat belt violation. Violators could be fined $10.