Shawnee participating in DUI, seat belt enforcement campaign
The Shawnee Police Department is joining other Kansas police agencies, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign, beginning today, Nov.23, through Sunday, Nov. 29.
The campaign, funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), will target drivers who are operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and drugs as well as those who are not wearing their seat belts.
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“Keep in mind that if you are going to be drinking, any amount at all, don’t consider driving home," said Sgt. Steve Walsh in a Shawnee Police press release. "Arrange to ride with a non-drinking acquaintance. Don’t let pride or concerns for your convenience endanger your life and the lives of innocent others."
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend ranks as the second highest period all year in terms of the average number of crashes involving impaired drivers, according to state figures. On average, five persons in the State of Kansas are killed or injured in alcohol and/or drug-related crashes each day. According to KDOT, which tracks all crashes in the state, vehicle occupants in alcohol- or other drug-related crashes are over 2 ½ times more likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes where alcohol or other drugs were not a factor. Each week across Kansas, over 250 drivers are arrested for DUI.
Additionally, twice as many Kansans who die from a crash are unrestrained as are restrained. Even worse is the fact that injuries suffered by those who are unbuckled are likely to be much more severe and disabling than injuries suffered by those who are buckled in. This applies regardless of speed, and whether the occurrence is on a city street, county road, or highway.
The Shawnee Police department is also reminding people that when driving, be sure that all children in your vehicle are properly restrained. According to the latest statistics, one in every five children in Kansas, ages 5-9, routinely rides in a vehicle without the benefit of a child safety seat or booster. For information on child safety restraint requirements and options, contact the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at 1-800-416-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.