• Seemingly routine trips
can be deceptively dangerous. Most fatal crashes happen within 25 miles from
home and at speeds of less than 40 mph.
• Young men are most at risk.
Among passenger vehicle occupants, men ages 18 to 34, who were killed in fatal
crashes, 65 percent were not buckled.
• In a crash, everything in
your car can cause you harm – your seat belt is one of the few things that can
actually save you.
These are just a few seat
belt safety facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website,
“It’s proven that seat
belts save lives,” said Lt. Paul Davis, traffic investigations, Fort Riley Police
Department, Directorate of Emergency Services. “We just want people to wear
their seat belts … In the end, it really helps you.”
In Kansas, including at
Fort Riley, drivers and passengers are required to wear seat belts or be in approved
safety restraints, like car seats and booster seats for children.
Exceptions for adults
include occupants riding in cars without seat belts manufactured prior to 1968,
mail carriers actively engaged in delivering mail, newspaper carriers activity
engaged in delivery newspapers or occupants with a written statement from a
licensed physician indicating they are unable to comply for medical reasons,
per Kansas Statute 8-2503.
“Seat belts are design to protect
adults,” Davis said, adding car seats and booster seat are specifically designed
for children. “Booster seats reduce the risk of injury.”
Children must wear
appropriate restraints according to age, height and weight factors, per Kansas
Children, 4 years and younger,
must be secured in an approved car seat. Children, 4 to 8 years, weighing less
than 80 pounds or shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches must be secured in a booster
seat. Children, 8 to 14 years, weighing more than 80 pounds or taller than 4
feet, 9 inches must wear a seat belt.
Those not wearing
appropriate seat belts are subject to a fine of $10 for adults, 18 years and
older, and $60 for youth, 14 to 17 years. Drivers are responsible for children,
14 years or younger, traveling in their vehicles and can incur a $60 fine for
“Our goal is not to write tickets
and hinder people’s freedom of movement on the road. We’re doing it for the safety
of the Soldiers, civilians and family members on Fort Riley. That’s the focus,”
said Sgt. Stephen Grappe, 73rd Military Police Detachment, 97th Military Police
“We don’t want people to think
we’re out to get them,” Davis added. “We’re just trying to make it safe for
everyone out there.”
DES personnel will conduct seat belt checks in
designated lanes on post to help raise awareness of seat belt safety in the
community, and ensure drivers and passengers are in compliance with local regulations.