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Lawrence police cited 26 adult motorists for not wearing their seat belts Monday night in a special enforcement effort, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman. One juvenile was also cited.
Kansas law mandates a minimum ticket of $60 for drivers and passengers ages 14 to 17 who are cited for not wearing a seat belt. The ticket is $10 for those 18 and older.
The seat-belt enforcement efforts are paid for with a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and often lead police officers to discover other offenses. Officers also cited a driver with a suspended license, and made arrests on outstanding warrants and drug offenses. Five police officers were involved in the enforcement, from 8:30 p.m. Monday to 12:30 a.m.
Sixty-three percent of Kansas fatal-accident victims in 2012 were not wearing seat belts, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. Douglas County had one of the highest rates of seat-belt usage in Kansas, with 90 percent of drivers and passengers wearing seat belts, while the average elsewhere in the state is 88 percent.