By Amanda Ravenstein, Fort Riley Public AffairsDecember 28, 2018
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The Click It Or Ticket campaign on Fort Riley is in full swing. If a Military Police officer sees an occupant of a vehicle without their seat belt fastened, they will get a ticket. The price for those tickets starts at $60.
According to Chief William Paskow, deputy director, Directorate of Emergency Services, $30 of the ticket goes to pay the court fees, the other $30 goes to the central violations bureau fund and then it goes into the Army central fund with no proof any of the money will return to Fort Riley.
"What we've discovered here, as we've run a series of checkpoint lanes, is there is a lot of people on the installation who are driving their vehicles without seatbelts," he said.
"When we dug into this, I thought that there would be a relatively small number, but in six safety and seat belt check lanes we issued about 200 tickets. Which is, to me, absolutely astounding. The numbers are just staggering -- that, that many people are getting into their vehicles and not putting their seat belt on."
"Besides it being the law, it's very important," said Ron Clasberry, deputy garrison safety manager Garrison Safety Office. "Right now, as you know, we're going through the Click It Or Ticket campaign." Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state, across all of age groups, an average of 48 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2016, were unrestrained. That means of the 37,461 people killed in motor vehicle accidents that year, 10,428 were either not wearing their seat belts or they were improperly restrained.
"Nobody wakes up and says, 'I'm going to get in an accident today,'" Clasberry said. "I wouldn't roll the dice and not wear my seat belt because that is one tool that I depend on to keep me safe in case of (an accident). Because you don't know what the other person is going to do out there."
According to the NHTSA, 75 percent of drivers ejected during a car accident were killed. Wearing a seat belt minimizes the body's contact with the interior of the car, resulting in fewer injuries. Seat belt usage reduces the chance of being injured by up to 50 percent.
In addition to seat belt safety tips for adults, the NHTSA has recommendations for the proper seat belt usage for pregnant women, children and babies
For pregnant women, seat belts should still be worn. Make sure the shoulder belt stays away from the neck but still on the shoulder and across the chest in between the breasts. Assure all slack has been removed from the belt with the lap belt secured below the belly, so it fits snugly across the hips and pelvic bone. Never place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back and never across or on top of the belly.
For children no longer in a booster seat, typically between the ages of 8 to 12 years of age, they must be tall enough to sit without slouching and be able to keep their back against the seat, have their legs naturally bent over the edge of the seat and have their feet flat on the floor of the vehicle.
Additionally, the lap belt must lie across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug against the shoulder and chest, not the face or neck or behind the back. And of course, the back seat is the safest place for a child.
For infants and toddlers, the various car seats and booster seats can be confusing. The NHTSA has an article at www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats that can help with determining the best seat for the child's age and size.
The Garrison Safety Office routinely conducts free car seat safety check points where Fort Riley families can stop and have their car seat inspected for proper installation.