Thursday, February 11, 2010

Next Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign Set To Begin

The Tigard Police Department will once again participate in the “Three Flags Safety Belt Campaign” beginning February 8th. The two week-long blitz is a multi-jurisdictional approach to help ensure motorists respect, obey and understand the importance of using seat belts and child safety seats. Tigard Police officers will be focusing on enforcement at various times and days. This effort is made possible through dedicated federal funding providing overtime opportunities to carry out the program. Officers will be focusing on overall seatbelt compliance, proper use of child booster seats and speed violations.

Recent statistics indicated that Tigard motorists demonstrated nearly 97% compliance regarding vehicle safety belt usage for front-seated occupants. The national average is just over 80%. While these figures are encouraging, it should also be noted that the lack of safety belt use was a major factor in half of all motor vehicle fatalities in Oregon during recent years.

The base fine for failure to wear a safety belt in a vehicle is $145.00. The base fine is the same for improperly wearing a safety belt, such as behind your back or under your arm.

In the past 16 years of record keeping pertaining to the wearing of seat belts in the State of Oregon, seat belt usage has grown from 43 per cent noted in 1989 to the current statewide estimates of 93 per cent. More importantly, that increased number of seat belt usage occurring during that same time span, also equates to reducing the motor vehicle collision mortality rate in Oregon by one – half. Seat belts save lives! The numbers don’t lie.

Additional information regarding child passenger safety can be found at http://www.actsoregon.org/index.html.

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