Primary seat belt ordinance passes

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
May 1, 2013

Not wearing a seat belt in Kansas City could now cost you $50.

In unanimous support, Kansas City City Council members adopted a primary seat belt ordinance April 18 and raised the fine for not wearing a seat belt from $10 to $50.

“At the end of the day, it’s about compliance, getting people to wear their belts,” City Council member Scott Wagner said.

Between 2008 and 2012, 189 fatalities occurred in Kansas City as a result of not wearing a seat belt, said Maj. Jim Pruetting of the Kansas City Police Department’s Traffic Division. That accounts for 65 percent of persons killed in a truck, car or SUV.

Before passing the ordinance, which took effect April 28, Kansas City had a secondary seat belt ordinance, which meant officers could only issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt if they witnessed another traffic offense first. Now, officers can pull a motorist over for solely not wearing a seat belt.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death and serious injury. When seat belts are worn, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injuries is reduced by 50 percent, according to NHTSA. Approximately 12,546 lives were saved in 2010 as a result of wearing seat belts, NHTSA reported.

While the national average for seat belt use is 84 percent, Missouri’s seat belt usage rate is 77.2 percent.

“Even though Missouri’s rate is pretty sorry, ours is worse,” City Council member John Sharp said.

In Kansas City, the seat belt usage rate is about 70 percent, Pruetting said.

If Kansas City could have increased its seat belt usage rate by 12 percent, an estimated 43 lives could have been saved over the past five years, Pruetting said.

“It’s not just fatalities. The fatalities are just the tip of the ice berg,” said Phyllis Larimore, Children’s Mercy coordinator for the Center for Childhood Safety. “Underneath that tip are the injuries that are incapacitating.”

When parents suffer debilitating injuries as a result of not wearing a seat belt, it can prevent them from providing for their families and the medical costs continue to climb, she said. If a parent dies, a child loses a primary caregiver and must deal with the effects of losing a parent, she said.

City Council members are hoping to raise Kansas City’s seat belt compliance rate through the new ordinance and Pruetting said that states with a primary seat belt law benefit from a higher compliance rate. In 2012, states with a  primary seat belt law had a 90 percent seat belt usage rate while states without a primary law had a 78 percent usage rate, he said.

“This (ordinance) is just another tool in the tool box,” City Council member Scott Taylor said. “If we can reduce that fatality rate, it’s well worth it.”

 

 

Comments are closed.

  • City responds to damaging storm, aids residents in Clean-up

    15 hours ago
    by

    Northeast News Aug. 1, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — City officials have announced that the city-wide emergency response to this […]


    Independence Avenue closure

    July 31st, 2015
    by

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News July 31, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Parts of Independence Avenue will be closed this weekend […]


    Find and pay Municipal Court tickets anytime with upgraded online system

    July 31st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News July 31, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Looking for Municipal Court cases and paying fines online just got […]


    Group wants to help COMBAT crime in Northeast

    July 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Jackson County’s COMBAT — which stands for the Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax — held an anti-drug, anti-violence canvassing event along Independence Avenue last week.
    COMBAT


    New Kansas City Museum acquisitions expand opportunities for preserving Kansas City history

    July 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Museum is adding over 15,000 artifacts to its growing collection.


  • [Advertisement.]
  • Neighborhood celebration thanks to the Salvation Army

    July 28th, 2015
    by

    Neighborhood Celebration. Last Saturday, the Salvation Army opened their doors to anyone in the community by holding a Neighborhood Celebration.


    Trail connecting HNE to River Market on right path

    July 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — After a few minor changes, the trail is almost ready for feet and tires.


    State Senator resigns following harassment allegations

    July 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – State Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, resigned last week after allegations of sexually harassing a female intern working in his office.
    In a press release on Friday,


    Double homicide in Northeast

    July 26th, 2015
    by

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News July 26, 2015 UPDATE: Kansas City Police have released the names of the two victims who […]


    City reminds residents to be careful during excessive heat warning

    July 24th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News July 24, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — With a Heat Advisory in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday, July […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Gayety Theater once took center stage

    Northeast News Built of reinforced concrete and ornamental brick at a cost of $115,000, the Gayety Theater stood on the former site of the A.W. Armour home, one of the

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

    Kansas City Museum acquisitions expand preservation of Kansas City History

    Northeast News July 22, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Museum is adding over 15,000 new objects to […]

  • [Advertisement.]