Speeding passes seat belt violations during roundup in St. Peters
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By Latreecia Wade
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 1:18 AM CDT
St. Peters police issued more speeding tickets than seat belt violations during a safety initiative designed to encourage drivers to buckle up.
Police participated in Operation Safe Teen, a statewide enforcement of safety belt requirements, March 15-31.
Officers issued four safety belt violations, 25 speeding violations and six other traffic violations during the enforcement, according to a department news release.
Police spokeswoman Melissa Doss said officers set up around Fort Zumwalt South High School in the morning in an effort to remind youths to wear seat belts.
"The majority of fatality accidents were when people who didn't buckle up," she said. "They would have survived had they worn their seat belt. Almost every traffic accident that I've been on could have walked away from it had they worn it."
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Nearly one in four people fails to regularly wear a seat belt in a vehicle in Missouri, and teens are even less likely to wear a seat belt, according to the release. Only 62 percent regularly buckle up.
According to a 2007 study by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a driver involved in a traffic crash who was not wearing a seat belt had a one in 32 chance of being killed. In cases where the driver wore a seat belt, his or her chance of being killed was one in 1,294.
St. Peters Police Chief Tom Bishop said regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
"Law enforcement will continue to encourage drivers to make a simple, smart choice to buckle up and arrive alive," Bishop said.
Funding for this effort was provided through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Division in cooperation with the National Highway Safety Administration and the Missouri Safety Center.