Crime & Courts

Attention teen drivers: Kansas cops will be watching for seat belt use near schools

What to do if you’ve been in a car accident

Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.
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Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.

Teen drivers may want to take extra care when driving to and from school the next two weeks as law enforcement agencies in the Wichita area and across Kansas will be on patrol.

The special traffic enforcement near area high schools will be an “aggressive education and enforcement campaign” targeting seat belt usage among teenagers, Kansas Highway Patrol officials said. The annual enforcement — dubbed “High Visibility Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign” — will run from Feb. 25 to March 8 and also includes law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma and Missouri.

“Troopers will be working with local law enforcement partners in an aggressive education and enforcement campaign focused on the importance of seat belt usage,” said Colonel Mark Bruce, Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol, in a news release. “Seat belts have been proven to save lives and prevent injuries, and our goal is to make sure all young adults buckle up in all seating positions.”

The Wichita Police Department will participate in the enforcement, a spokesman said. A Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office spokesman did not respond to an email. Other area agencies, including the Arkansas City Police Department and the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, have announced they will participate.

“In 2018, nearly half of all Kansas teens who died in traffic crashes were not wearing a seat belt,” the Highway Patrol said in the news release.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens between the ages of 15 and 18, Ark City police said in a release.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner speaks about the sentencing of Steven Johnson on murder and manslaughter charges after the DUI crash that killed Jessica, Jaydon and Leah Thompson in a video posted to his Twitter account on June 1, 2018.

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