Garden City police will be amping up their presence later this month as part of a Click It or Ticket campaign to more rigidly enforce seat belt laws.
The 2018 Kansas Click It or Ticket campaign will kick off May 21 and last until June 3. The Garden City Police Department is joining 160 other law enforcement agencies in an effort to aggressively enforce Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws.
The enhanced presence is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation to fund around-the-clock enforcement. Officers will be especially vigilant at night, when seat belt use typically diminishes and the likelihood of unrestrained crash injuries and deaths increases.
Drivers should expect strict enforcement of the Kansas Safety Belt Use Act and the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act. The statutes require that all vehicle occupants must be appropriately restrained.
Law enforcement officers can conduct traffic stops and issue tickets when they observe front seat occupants, teens in any seat position or children younger than 14 riding without proper restraints. Occupants 14 and older are cited individually, and if a passenger younger than 14 is observed unrestrained, the driver will be cited.
The fine for an adult seat belt violation is $30, which reflects a $20 increase passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature in 2017. The fine for a youth violation by riders ages 14 to 17 is $60, and the fine for violations by children up to 13 is $60 with court costs of up to $75.
Children younger than 4 must be properly secured in an approved child safety seat. Children ages 4 to 7 must be securely belted into an approved booster seat unless taller than 4 feet, 9 inches or heavier than 80 pounds. In that case, the child can be belted without a booster seat.
State law also prohibits passengers younger than 14 from riding in any part of a vehicle not intended for carrying passengers, such as a pickup bed.