Campaign should drive home need to keep children safe.

It's the time of year for reminders on the need to stay safe on the road.

And once again, many motorists who fail to wear their seat belt will be greeted by the annual "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign.

Starting Monday, local law enforcement agencies joined in the nationwide mission to address seat-belt violations.

The effort includes putting additional officers on the roads during the busy Memorial Day holiday travel weekend, with the stepped-up enforcement continuing through June 3.

Expect law enforcement officers to place more focus on not only seat-belt violations, but also speeding and driving under the influence.

Another important area of emphasis this year will be child-passenger-safety-seat violations.

Unfortunately, not all who travel in Kansas are up to speed on the rules regarding children.

The law in Kansas calls for children younger than 4 to be secured in an approved child-safety seat, and youngsters ages 4 to 7 placed in an approved booster seat unless taller than 4-foot-9, or heavier than 80 pounds. Older children must use seat belts in the same way as adults.

Statistics prove buckling up to be a lifesaver.

More than two-thirds of people killed in crashes in Kansas were not wearing seat belts, according to recent data from the Kansas Department of Transportation. And some 89 percent of crash survivors who suffered no injuries were wearing their seat belts.

With that in mind, it's alarming to know people still refuse to wear a seat belt for whatever reason, whether it's stubbornness in resisting a governmental mandate even one put in place to keep them safe to the supposed annoyance and inconvenience of wearing a seat belt.

It's bad enough when adults don't buckle up. Children rely on their parents and guardians to protect them, and law enforcement officers will be ready to penalize motorists who make the horrible decision to not have children in their vehicles properly restrained.

When children are buckled up routinely, the safety step will become habit as they grow older. Seat-belt compliance will continue to rise, and as a result, more lives will be saved.