Captain Lee Ann H. Kenley, commanding officer, Troop I, announces Troop I officers will again team up with law enforcement agencies in other states in the "Get Your 'Clicks' On Route 66" seat belt crackdown on Friday, February 1, 2013.
The quarterly mobilization began in August 2010, with a handful of law enforcement agencies in Central Oklahoma, but now has expanded to include highway patrol, state police, and local law enforcement agencies in eight states along the famed Route 66 corridor.
The wearing of seat belts by drivers and passengers in vehicles is one of the best ways to prevent death and personal injury when involved in a traffic crash. In recent years, the state of Missouri has recognized the affect seat belt usage has on reducing traffic crash deaths and injuries through the passage of infant restraint and adult seat belt laws.
The effectiveness of using seat belts becomes apparent when considering the following statistics. A driver in a 2011 Missouri traffic crash had a one in two chance of being injured if they were not wearing a seat belt. However, if they were wearing a seat belt their chances of being injured in the crash were one in eight. When examining driver deaths, the differences are much more dramatic. A driver in a 2011 Missouri traffic crash had a one in 30 chance of being killed if they were not wearing a seat belt. In those cases where a driver wore a seat belt, their chance of being killed was 1 in 1,424.
Section 307.178 of the Revised Missouri Statutesrequires:
— Everyone riding in the front seat in automobiles and trucks with a licensed gross weight of less than 12,000 pounds must wear a seat belt.
— Children ages eight through 15 must wear seat belts regardless of the type of vehicle in which they are riding or where they are seated (front or back). Like the child restraint law, this is a primary law, meaning you can be pulled over for noncompliance.
Page 2 of 3 - — Persons less than 18 years of age operating or riding in trucks (regardless of gross weight for which licensed) must wear seat belts.
— No person under age 18 is allowed to ride in the unenclosed bed of a truck with a licensed gross weight of less than 12,000 pounds on lettered highways, federal and state maintained highways, and within city limits. There are exemptions for agricultural purposes, special events, and parades.
— It is the driver's responsibility to ensure passengers under the age of 16 are buckled up safely. Those 16 and over are responsible for themselves.
— Violators may be subject to a fine and court costs for not properly using seat belts.
Section 307.179 of the Revised Missouri Statutes requires:
— Children less than four years old, regardless of weight, use an appropriate child passenger restraint system.
— Children weighing less than 40 pounds, regardless of age, to be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.
— Children (ages 4-7) who weigh at least 40 pounds, but less than 80 pounds, and are less than 4'9'' tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or a booster seat appropriate for that child.
— Children who are at least 80 pounds or children taller than 4'9'' tall must be secured by a vehicle safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child.
"It's great to see agencies all along Route 66 working together to enforce the law in their respective states," Captain Kenley stated.
Page 3 of 3 - The "Get Your 'Clicks' On Route 66" mobilization is coordinated by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Ben Crockett. States taking part in the Friday crackdown include Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
"We want everyone to buckle up – every trip, every time – whether you're driving in a city or a rural area," Lieutenant Crockett said.
"During the Route 66 crackdown, we'll be reminding people that using a seat belt is not only a smart decision, it is the law," Captain Kenley stated.