In effort to raise driver safety, Marion police officers will be extra vigilant in patrolling school zones next week between Monday and Friday.
“In the health field they talk about making sure children have received their immunizations to prevent deadly diseases,” police chief Tyler Mermis said. “But what many parents don’t think about is that wearing a seatbelt properly is the best prevention of serious injury or death in a vehicle.”
He said officers would issue citations to anyone who does not obey state law on wearing seatbelts.
Marion Police joins other law enforcement agencies across the state to help stop what has been likened to a state epidemic. In 2014, 28 children, birth to 17, died in car crashes. Half of those were not wearing seatbelts, and eight were ejected from vehicles, according to information Mermis provided.
He said children are more likely to buckle up if the driver of the car they are in is wearing a seatbelt.
According to a 2016 Kansas observational seatbelt survey, about 96 percent of observed children wore seatbelts if drivers were wearing them, but only 27 percent of children were buckled in if drivers were not wearing seatbelts.
“Even one child’s death is unacceptable,” Mermis said. “Please slow down, especially in school zones, eliminate distractions, and always buckle up.”
Kansas safety belt laws can be found at www.kstro.org.