A local police department is increasing its overtime patrols over the next few weeks to look for unrestrained drivers.
The Jasper Police Department began taking part in “Operation Belt Up” today and will finish on Thursday, November 5th.
The statewide initiative is taking place in the top 30 Indiana counties for unrestrained crashes and is paid for by funds through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the Criminal Justice Institute, 90% of motorists involved in passenger vehicle crashes last year were wearing seat belts.
Despite this, unrestrained motorists accounted for over half of all vehicle fatalities in 2019.
Drivers less than 34 years old, particularly young male drivers, were more likely to be found not wearing a seat belt.
Individuals not buckled up in crashes were three times more likely to get injured when the driver was speeding. They were seven times more likely to be injured when the driver was impaired.
Indiana law requires everyone to wear a seat belt when in a vehicle.
The seat belt should be properly secured across the hip and pelvis, below the stomach. It should be positioned across the middle of the chest and away from the neck and never behind the back or under an arm.
If the seat belt doesn’t fit, or the car is older and only has lap belts, ask the car dealer or vehicle manufacturer about seat belt adjusters, extenders, or retrofits.
Children less than 8 years old must be properly restrained in a federally approved child or booster seat.
Parents and caregivers can choose the safest car seat for their child by visiting TheRightSeat.com, or to find a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, who can inspect and assist with the installation of a car seat, by visiting childseat.in.gov.