effort will promote seatbelt usage
The Platte City Police Department has
announced that it will participate in a nationwide seatbelt
and child restraint enforcement campaign. The effort
will begin on Nov. 17 and is scheduled to conclude on
Dec. 1, 2003.
Utilizing a $1,500 grant from the Missouri
Department of Transportation, the campaign is designed
to increase seat belt and child restraint usage among
Missouri's seatbelt law is a secondary
one, meaning that law enforcement cannot stop a driver
for the sole reason of enforcing seatbelt laws.
Typically seatbelt violations are added
to other infractions. In recent statewide seatbelt campaigns,
many law enforcement agencies have used the campaign
to issue "zero-tolerance" ticketing practices.
Platte City Chief of Police Joe McHale said that won't
neccesarily be the case here.
"We're not out there to give everyone
tickets," McHale said. "We're looking for
compliance and cooperation."
Missouri typically lags behind the rest
of the nation in seatbelt usage. According to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTA), only 68%
of Missouri drivers use seatbelts as opposed to the
national average of 75%. Studies also show that 51%
of truck drivers don't buckle up either.
In 2002, more than 72,000 people were
injured on Missouri roads and 1,208 people lost their
lives. According the NHTA, more than half of these deaths
occur in rural areas.