Travelers on the El Dorado streets can expect to see an increase in police presence

Greg Williams
Butler County Times Gazette
Drivers side seat belt inside of a Chevy Sonic

EL DORADO, Kansas - Travelers on the El Dorado streets beginning on Friday, May 21, and continuing through Monday, May 31, can expect to see an increase in police presence.

The El Dorado Police Department will join 180 other law enforcement agencies in enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2021 Kansas Click It or Ticket It campaign. 

The purpose of the campaign is to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries that occur in a traffic accident when drivers and passengers are not wearing a seatbelt. 

According to the El Dorado Police Department, about 345 people are involved in 170 crashes each day in Kansas City. Only 7% of those who don't wear a seatbelt are likely to escape without injury. Half of all fatalities occur among those who are not wearing a seat belt.  

More:Gov. Laura Kelly rejects bill to compensate businesses for COVID-19 losses, citing federal guidelines

Through May 21-31, drivers will be met with extra enforcement by the Kansas Safety Belt Use Act and the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act. These statutes require all vehicle occupants must be appropriately restrained.

These laws include prohibiting any person under the age of 14 from riding in any part of a vehicle that is not meant for a passenger. An example would be someone in the bed of a pickup truck.

More:Businesses are saying they didn't agree to letter to Kansas governor on federal jobless benefits

According to the El Dorado Police Department, Kansas' overall adult seat belt compliance rate is 85% and ranges by county. Generally, in rural areas, people are less likely to buckle up than those in urban counties. Almost two-thirds of Kansas' fatality crashes occur on rural roadways.

"I want to thank the drivers that take their safety seriously and buckle up every trip," said El Dorado Police Chief Curt Zieman. "I want people to know that day or night, El Dorado is committed to aggressively ticketing violators of adult seat belt and child safety laws, as well as other traffic infractions."

For questions about child safety restraints, contact the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at 1-800-416-2522 or ktsro@dccca.org.