Beginning on Monday, May 21, and continuing through Sunday, June 3, travelers can expect increased police presence on Wellington city streets as the Wellington Police Department joins 160 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2018 Kansas
Click It or Ticket campaign. This activity is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). Enforcement will occur around the clock. Officers will be especially vigilant at night because seat belt use diminishes after nightfall, meaning the likelihood of unrestrained crash injuries and deaths soars during those
hours.
Drivers can expect strict enforcement of both the Kansas Safety Belt Use Act and the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act. These statutes require that all vehicle occupants must be appropriately restrained. Law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue tickets when they observe front seat occupants, teens in any seat position, or children under the age of 14, riding without being properly restrained. Occupants, ages 14 and over, are cited individually. In the event that a passenger under the age of 14 is observed to be unrestrained the driver will be cited. The fine for an adult seat belt violation is $30 – a $20 increase passed overwhelmingly by the 2017
Kansas Legislature. The fine for a youth (14-17) violation is $60, while the fine for a child (0-13) restraint
violation is $60 + a court cost charge of as much as $108. [Enter court cost for your jurisdiction if more than
$108.]
Children under the age of four must be correctly secured in an approved child safety seat. Children, ages
four through seven, must be securely belted into an approved booster seat unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches or
heavier than 80 pounds, in which case, the booster may be removed and the child belted in without it. Children,
ages eight through 13, must be safety-belted. In addition, the law prohibits persons under the age of 14 from
riding in any part of a vehicle not intended for carrying passengers, such as a pickup bed. For answers to child
safety restraint questions and the location of the nearest safety seat fitting station, or safety seat technician,
contact the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at 1-800- 416-2522, or write ktsro@dccca.org.
The aim of Click It or Ticket is simple: to drastically reduce the number of preventable deaths
and injuries that occur when unbelted drivers and passengers are involved in traffic crashes. According to
KDOT, 92% of crash occupants who suffer no injuries of any kind are belted in. At the other end of the
scale only 45% of those who suffer fatal injuries are belted in. While seat belts may not always protect

from serious or fatal injury, certainly no other piece of equipment within the vehicle provides more
protection.
Kansas’ overall adult seat belt compliance rate is 82% and ranges, by county, from 61% to 96%, with
occupants in rural counties generally less likely to buckle up than those in urban counties. According to KDOT,
this rural-urban difference in rates of buckling up is especially problematic because rural roadway conditions are,
in general, less forgiving than those in urban areas, and the consequences of driver misjudgment – such as unsafe
speed and failure to buckle up – are likely to be more severe. It is easy to see why fully two-thirds of Kansas’
fatality crashes occur on rural roadways even though they see only one-third of all crashes.
Kansans like to see their state as one which protects children, and it does well with its youngest ones:
overall, those aged 0-4, are buckled in to child safety seats at the rate of 97%. However, only 84% of 5- to 13-
year olds are properly restrained. This means that 1 out of 6 Kansas children, aged 5-13, are made especially
vulnerable while traveling by the failure of their drivers to restrain them.
According to Chief Tracy Heath, “I want people in Wellington to remember that when they don’t buckle
up themselves, or require their passengers to buckle up, they are, in effect, promising themselves and those
passengers, along with family and friends not present, that no circumstance will arise that will ultimately trigger
seat belt activation, whether it be due to distraction, sleepiness, kids fighting in the back seat, etc. either in their
own vehicle or in the other vehicles they meet on the road.
“I want people to know that, day or night, Wellington Police is committed to aggressively ticketing
violators of adult seat belt and child safety laws, as well as other traffic infractions – such as speeding and texting
while driving – which make the need for occupant restraint so necessary. The stop will be inconvenient, your
vehicle and driver’s license numbers will likely be checked for outstanding warrants and insurance, and you’ll
pay $30 to the court. So, use your belt and save yourself the trouble.”