KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Make Seatbelt Enforcement a Priority in GHSO “SAFE” Campaign

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Make Seatbelt Enforcement a Priority in GHSO “SAFE” Campaign
DATE: February 4, 2016
The Kingsport Police Department is currently participating in the State of Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office “SAFE” (Seatbelts Are For Everyone) Campaign. The “SAFE” Campaign runs from February 1, 2016 until August 1, 2016 with numerous law enforcement agencies across the state joining in the endeavor.

The “SAFE” Campaign strives for increases in the following categories:

1) Seatbelt Usage Rates Among Citizenry (based upon pre and post campaign surveys)

2) Seatbelt Violation Citations

3) Child Passenger Safety Seat/Child Restraint Violation Citations

4) Seatbelt Education Awareness Efforts

5) Seatbelt Enforcement Activities

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, approximately one-half of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities involve unrestrained drivers or passengers. The primary goal of the “SAFE” Campaign is to educate all motorists across the state about the importance of wearing seatbelts.

2016 is the third year that the G.H.S.O. has conducted the “SAFE” Campaign. Last year, 109 agencies across the state, including the Kingsport Police Department, participated. Through the campaign, the seatbelt usage rate for the participating agencies’ pre and post survey showed significant increases for every region in Tennessee. A chart highlighting last year’s results has been included in this release.

While surveys conducted across East Tennessee show a seatbelt usage rate of 87 percent, pre-campaign surveys conducted throughout the City of Kingsport indicate a usage rate of just under 80 percent. In an ideal world, all motorists would wear their seatbelt 100 percent of the time; however, the Kingsport Police Department would view any significant increase in usage to be a success.

To achieve this goal, the Kingsport Police Department will be stepping up seatbelt education and enforcement efforts. In the State of Tennessee, a violation of the seatbelt law is considered a primary offense, meaning that if an officer observes a motorist not wearing a seatbelt, the officer may stop and cite the motorist for the seatbelt violation without observing any other offenses.

Wearing a seatbelt can easily make the difference in a motorist being seriously injured or killed in a crash versus literally walking away from the crash with minor injuries or completely unscathed. The Kingsport Police Department encourages ALL occupants of ALL motor vehicles to wear their seatbelt ALL of the time. It is the law, but more importantly, it might just save a life.

Please be “SAFE” and remember that Seatbelts Are For Everyone!

For additional information on the “SAFE” Campaign and other G.H.S.O. traffic safety programs, please visit the following link:

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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