Kansas SAFE campaign encourages smart driving near high schools

The Hutchinson News
A Great Bend Police Department officer speaks with a driver during the SAFE Enforcement Campaign, held between Feb. 22 and March 5 near high schools across Kansas to encourage teens to drive safely.

To raise awareness of the importance of driving safely, 358 officers from 92 Kansas law enforcement agencies spent a combined total of 2,569 hours conducting the SAFE Enforcement Campaign near high schools between Feb. 22 and March 5. Additional law enforcement agencies in Missouri and Oklahoma also participated in the campaign.

Officers issued citations to any individual who refused to follow traffic laws, and instead chose to speed, text and drive, or go without wearing their seatbelt. They issued 135 teen seatbelt citations, 578 adult seatbelt citations, and 39 child restraint citations. In addition, there were 713 speeding citations issued, along with 969 other citations.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (15-18 years old) in the United States – ahead of all other types of injury, disease or violence. Through the SAFE Enforcement Campaign, officers reminded teens that driving is a privilege and encouraged them to consider their own safety and that of others on the road.

SAFE is a teen-run, peer-to-peer program focusing on increasing teen seatbelt use through education, positive rewards and enforcement, in order to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities among Kansas teens.

For more information about SAFE, visit ktsro.org/safe.