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Overland Park police begin child seat belt safety week

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-02 16:40:33-04

'A minimum of one hour throughout the week is all it takes to make sure your child is safe in the car.'

That’s the message Overland Park police are encouraging this week.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is hosting a statewide initiative October 31 through November 4, where law enforcement agencies throughout the state are making sure children are buckled up.

In Overland Park, police are patrolling nearby elementary schools before and after school.

“We want all children to be safe. We do not want them in the back seat unbuckled,” Overland Park police officer, John Lacy said. “We’ve seen a lot of accidents where people are not buckled in and they suffer severe accidents if there’s an accident, if they’re not properly buckled in.”

Young students at Stanley elementary explained the dangers of not buckling up.

"Depending on how fast you were going and how hard it throws you, you could slingshot through the windshield if you're in the front seat,” Stanley elementary 3rd grader, Logan Kirchhoff said.

“You might hurt yourself or hit your head,” Stanley elementary kindergartner, Juliana Vaz said.

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, in 2014, the state lost 28 children between 0 and 17 years old in car crashes. "Of those 28, 14 were unrestrained,” Overland Park police officer Andrew Black said.

Taking only seconds to put a seatbelt on to save a life, it’s a message for both children and parents.

“When parents wear their seatbelt, 96 percent of the time, the children will wear their seatbelt on the way to school,” Black said. “When parents don't wear their seatbelt, 27 percent of the children are restrained. So that's why we're enforcing parents as the drivers and the children.

“If I wasn't wearing my seatbelt, probably mommy would have to pay a ticket,” Vaz said.

That’s a 60 dollar ticket for people who are 17 and under and a ten dollar one for those 18 and older.

Young students at Stanley elementary shared a message for anyone who doesn’t buckle up:

“I would tell them to wear their seatbelt because it really isn't safe not to wear a seatbelt,” 1st grader, Ellie Ferguson said.

“Mine would be out your seatbelt on or you'll crack a bone,” 1st grader Tucker Herbert said.

“I would say to her that if you do that that I will not tell on you, but I will tell her to put your seatbelt on because you just might break your collar bone,” Juliana Vaz said.

“The message is seatbelts save lives,” Officer Black said. “Speed kills. Seatbelt saves lives. And proper wearing of the seatbelt is really really important.”

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Rae Daniel can be reached at Rae.Daniel@KSHB.com.

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