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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Police cite 27 motorists in Monday night seat-belt enforcement

May 2, 2013

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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.

Comments

amac 1 year, 7 months ago

I just don't get it...why do people NOT wear seatbelts?

Jason Johnson 1 year, 7 months ago

Because we shouldn't have to be made to do so.

bad_dog 1 year, 7 months ago

You are correct, common sense should be enough. Nevertheless...

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

jhorus -While you believe you shouldn't be forced to wear a seat belt, I don't think that the taxpayers should be left to pay the bills if the costs of your treatment exceed your insurance levels. So we compromise, the taxpayer agrees to pay the costs for catastrophic injuries that will exceed your insurance levels while you agree to minimize that risk. Should you still not like the compromise that has been codified into law, you always have the option to opt out, and walk.

greenworm 1 year, 7 months ago

It just gives the police a better chance to pull u over, now that they have probable cause. how many of those accidents without a seatbelt on were while scooting around town doing 20-30-40 mph. But I completely agree with wearing one on the highway. where u doing 50 plus and your reaction time is not as quick. but in town give me a break, profiling, an excuse to check u out, all it is.

bad_dog 1 year, 7 months ago

Failing to wear a seat belt does not establish "probable cause" a crime was committed. It does, however create a "primary" offense through which law enforcement officers now have a legal basis to pull you over.

Seatbelt laws are not enacted to prevent deaths only. Unrestrained people can be killed or seriously injured-even at lower "in town" speeds. An unrestrained driver or passenger struck by an activating airbag is likely to be injured. Unrestrained drivers/passengers in a vehicle that strikes a fixed object or an oncoming vehicle are much more likely to be injured than properly belted persons; even in town. Children are at even higher risk.

bad_dog 1 year, 7 months ago

No, probable cause is the legal basis utilized to obtain a search warrant or to arrest a person suspected of committing a crime. Are you going to be searched or arrested because you aren't wearing a seatbelt? No. If the officer pulls you over for not wearing the seatbelt and he sees an open container or smells pot in your car, that can establish probable cause a crime has been committed and form the basis for a search or an arrest.

Trust me. I slept in a Holiday Inn last night.

Smitty, I believe the change in the law occurred in the last two years. This is now a primary offense that creates a legal basis to stop motorists in and of itself.

gatekeeper 1 year, 7 months ago

You think a wreck at city speeds won't kill or severely injure you? Idiot girl hit me while I was stopped at a red light. She was estimated doing 38 mph. WITH my seatbelt on, I ended up with nasty back injuries and 9 months of physical therapy. Without my seatbelt, they said I would have had broken bones and much worse injuries. My car was totalled, in a wreck where the girl that hit me was going under 40. Even a slower speed wreck can mangel a car and a person.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Do you not pay attention to the cars coming up behind you at a red light? Here's tip: if nobody is behind you at a light, tap your foot to your favorite song on the brake pedal. People are more likely to notice and pay attention to flashing lights.

Always watch the traffic behind you at lights and be ready to move.

I've rolled cars a few cars but have avoided collisions because I drive like all of you are trying to run into me.

Bursting 1 year, 7 months ago

better outlaw stop lights i guess...

Phoghorn 1 year, 7 months ago

That is a dangerous attitude. I agree that wearing a seat belt is a good idea (mine is always on regardless of speed), but your attitude could be taken to a very dangerous level.

Phoghorn 1 year, 7 months ago

This is the attitude that leads to busybody laws. Perhaps my business is nobody's business.

Would you allow a police officer to tour your home unannounced just because he feels like it? No, you would ask him to get a warrant.

I am an honest law abiding citizen, but I still value my privacy.

Phoghorn 1 year, 7 months ago

99% Really? You do know that 87 percent of statistics cited on the internet are made up on the spot right?

With all due respect, I do not believe that you and I will agree on this topic. If you are comfortable living in a police state, that is your choice. I value my freedom to be left alone. That means I don't want to be videotaped, fondled, and questioned excessively all in the name of safety - even if I am being perfectly legal in all my business.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, I don't care if I get caught.

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

I'd feel a lot safer if the police would write tickets for people using cell phones while driving. It's not going to do me any good if I get hit or run over by a distracted but belted driver talking on their phone.

bad_dog 1 year, 7 months ago

The point is YOU and your passengers should be restrained. That is the law at issue in this article. Speaking on your cell phone isn't illegal yet. If a person is so distracted by speaking on their phone they cause an accident while driving, then they were acting negligently. They can be cited for inattentive driving and sued for civil damages.

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

I always wear a seat belt. It's the drivers who risk our well being by drinking, texting, or talking on their phone that I'm more concerned with. Yes, I'd rather we had laws against that than for not wearing a seat belt.

bad_dog 1 year, 7 months ago

Regardless of the "cause" for an accident, wouldn't you rather be protected to the maximum extent possible? Thus, the seat belt law applies in all circumstances; to protect drivers & passengers from accidents arising from all sources. We already have laws prohibiting everything you cite aside from talking while driving. A fractured extremity isn't going to be less severe or heal more quickly depending upon whether the accident that caused it arose from a drunk or cellphone-distracted driver. That is why enforcement of the seatbelt law is important. Because you don't get to dictate the terms of the accident that is about to happen to you or someone in your vehicle.

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes, like I said, I always wear a seat belt when I drive. However, I walk or ride a bike more often than I drive a car, so distracted drivers are a bigger concern to me. I would feel more "protected" if cell phones were illegal to use while driving. And I do think an accident can indeed be more severe because a driver is on a cell phone or drunk when compared with an accident caused by something like slick roads or poor road condiditons. A distracted driver, for example, may not be aware of their speed and because their focus is on something other than driving they may not slow down prior to impact. But regardless, I'm not really disagreeing with you, I'd just like to get those distracted drivers off our roads.

bad_dog 1 year, 7 months ago

I didn't mean to disagree with you per se. It's just that while your concern is meritorious, the police can only enforce laws, not good ideas. I'd tell you to suggest such a law to our fine legislature, but I'm not sure they would have time to address it what with all their concerns about Federal intervention into Kansas citizen's 2nd Amendment rights, abortion laws, cutting income taxes for the wealthy, etc.

somebodynew 1 year, 7 months ago

pizzapete - they aren't getting extra money from a grant to go out and enforce that. That is the only reason so many were out at one time for this. Money to pay for the overtime.

Bursting 1 year, 7 months ago

Something about our government spending extra money to flex their muscle AND take money from us doesn't sit well with me.

gatekeeper 1 year, 7 months ago

They're enforcing the law because morons aren't following the basic rules of the road. Driving is a privaledge and there are laws to be followed. Don't like it, don't drive.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

This is an indication we have too many policemen in this city.

sentinel4820 1 year, 7 months ago

What???? Because our police officers came in on their time off to work overtime is an indication we have too many officers?? What the heck is your rationale???

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

If the police want to work overtime, they should be out trying to stop property or violent crime, not wasting OUR money peeking in car windows to see if you are wearing your seat belt.

Lisa Medsker 1 year, 7 months ago

Liberty, for once, I agree with you. ;-) Not that there are necessarily too many officers, but that there is more than enough crime in this city to keep them busy, and they would rather bother people over a seat belt ("Patrol & Control") instead of focusing on ACTUAL crime. ("Protect & Serve")

mom_of_three 1 year, 7 months ago

I had a friend killed in an auto accident. The driver of the 2nd car survived because they were wearing a seatbelt but my friend wasn't.
from that point on, I had no problems with wearing seatbelts.

mom_of_three 1 year, 7 months ago

that's pretty rare. seatbelts save lives most of the time.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Thousands and thousands of Americans die because they aren't wearing a seatbelt. That doesn't influence my decision to wear one or not. I base the decision on how dangerous the trip is. I reserve the right to use my judgement.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 7 months ago

And the government reserves the right to use its judgement, which is based on more than your individual likes or dislikes.

"I base the decision on how dangerous the trip is." Well, I understand that, but I believe your "dangerousness" level might be out of whack, in that the majority of deaths in car accidents happen at speeds of under 30 miles per hour. Don't take my word. Google it. The facts are that, even in highway situations, the drivers have had time to react to the accident situation and slow down.

The real issue for you and those of your ideals is that you don't want someone to tell you what to do, isn't it? And American law has, over and over, been held to be that which protects the greater number of citizens (or property) with the least possible intervention. I, for one, applaud the law that, in this case, doew exactly what it is suppposed to do. I think you should, too.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"you don't want someone to tell you what to do"

You are perfectly correct.

Bursting 1 year, 7 months ago

"And the government reserves the right to use its judgement, which is based on more than your individual likes or dislikes"

sounds just a tad bit communist to me....

Meatwad 1 year, 7 months ago

If they had to clean up after an accident I'll bet they would start wearing them and not complain

Jean Robart 1 year, 7 months ago

I read an article this morning about a woman who was in a minor fender bender with her three kids in the car. Restraints were in place. The kids are fine. She died when her airbag exploded and sent shrapnel into her neck and cut a jugular vein. I know this isn't about airbags, but maybe if she had not been restrained, she could have moved and thus avoided death.

bad_dog 1 year, 7 months ago

Airbags deploy in fractions of a second. She would not have been able to even recognize shrapnel was moving toward her much less react and avoid it. In the absence of a seat belt she would have been more likely to suffer a concussion from impacting the windshield or facial injuries from the steering wheel in addition to the shrapnel wounds.

blindrabbit 1 year, 7 months ago

I wear a seatbelt all the time. but cannot figure out how somebody would be caught not wearing one, even if the did not routinely do so. If you were not doing so and the cops stopped you, don't think you would quickly buckle up and avoid the ticket. Not like dumping a 6-pack or trying to explain away a moving traffic violation.

snook3200 1 year, 7 months ago

blah blah blah, one night ticketing people, we was run off the road by someone on the phone , bent down trying to pick up something and almost killed us. where was the police for that. we always want this and that. and everyone wants to cry and say what they think is wrong or right. but seriously if we want to wear a freaking seat belt we will. it is ten freaking dollars, who cares. where is the ticket for all those texting and on their phones. get your minds right. or is it that everyone thinks that is ok as long as you have a seatbelt on. will a seatbelt save you when someone plows through you while they are on the phone. what a joke.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

And if you should have an accident and survive, the costs for your care will surely exceed what your insurance will pay. We, the taxpayers, will then have to make the difficult decision of either paying for your recovery or keeping class sizes small. We will have to choose between your physical therapy or a playground for our children. We will have to choose between your occupational therapy and retraining or paying teachers what they are really worth.

Thanks, for nothing.

Bursting 1 year, 7 months ago

lol medical care is so outragiously expensive that it doesn't even come close to mattering. PROFIT PROFIT PROFIT for hospitals. Ain't nobody got time for that! Your argument is useless, feel free to decide to preach about drunk driving though, that does kill people. Not seatbelts in town

Clare Galloway 1 year, 7 months ago

I was one that was pulled over Monday the police were nice and mainly explained it was for safety they weren't treating me like a criminal or being suspicious of anything I am thankful they were concerned for my safety- but I still don't like to wear seatbelts. But glad it was just a 10 dollar ticket and no court cost...

skinny 1 year, 7 months ago

Let the natural selection process takes it course! It'll catch up to those that aren't smart enough to wear their seatbelts!!

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Natural selection, you have my address, come get me.

James Minor 1 year, 7 months ago

We can debate the pros and cons of seatbelt safety but I would rather wear one while driving than to find out later about the benefits. It is good that the police took time out of their schedule to remind drivers of the importance of seatbelt safety. It is them that arrive on the scene and have to deal with the medical issues related to not wearing one. Most businesses go through daily safety awareness and exercises to remind employees to be safe. If they don't they could lose their job. Employees usually take their job seriously and their safety. Why not do the same when you are behind the wheel???? "Buckle up for Safety before you drive---- or Walk"!!!!

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