KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Make Seatbelt Enforcement a Top Priority in 2018 THSO “SAFE” Campaign

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Make Seatbelt Enforcement a Top Priority in 2018 THSO “SAFE” Campaign
DATE: February 2, 2018
The Kingsport Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for its fifth 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, 2018, and concludes on August 1, 2018.

2018 will be the fifth year that the THSO has sponsored the SAFE campaign. Last year yielded the following results:

  • 1,480 child restraint violations
  • 16,571 seat belt citations
  • 835 other seat belt enforcement activities

“In 2016, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 88.95 percent,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Last year, the state’s usage rate decreased to 88.51 percent. Our goal this year is to achieve 100 percent seatbelt usage across Tennessee through the SAFE campaign and other occupant-protection initiatives.”

In Tennessee, a disproportionate percentage of unrestrained fatalities tend to occur between the hours of 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Historically, approximately 50 percent of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities are unbelted. That percentage increases to nearly 60 percent when nighttime crashes are examined. Therefore, participating agencies will focus special attention toward nighttime seatbelt enforcement during the SAFE campaign this year.

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:

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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


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