KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Make Seatbelt Enforcement a Top Priority in 2017 THSO “SAFE” Campaign

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Make Seatbelt Enforcement a Top Priority in 2017 THSO “SAFE” Campaign
DATE: February 3, 2017
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The Kingsport Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for its annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign. This statewide initiative is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout local communities across Tennessee. The SAFE campaign begins February 1, 2017, and concludes on August 1, 2017.

2017 will be the fourth year that the THSO has sponsored the SAFE campaign. Last year yielded the following results:

  • 1,717 child restraint violations
  • 21,562 seat belt citations
  • 723 other seat belt enforcement activities

“In 2015, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 86.23%,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Last year, we soared to 88.95%. Through increased education, enforcement, and community involvement, we’re striving for 90% or higher.”

This year, participating agencies will pay special attention to nighttime seatbelt enforcement. Tennessee has seen a disproportionate percentage of unrestrained fatalities between the hours of 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Historically, approximately 50% of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities are unbelted. That percentage increases to nearly 60% when nighttime crashes are examined.

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 THSO traffic safety programs, please visit the following link:

http://tntrafficsafety.org/safe-campaign-page

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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