Seymour Police Department recently joined 20 other law enforcement agencies and the Indiana State Police in enforcing seat belt laws across 30 rural counties with the highest rate of unrestrained crashes.
The enforcement period, which began Tuesday, includes multiple weeks of high-visibility patrols looking for unrestrained passengers in the front seats and back, both day and night.
A smaller portion of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but there were 12,797 passenger-vehicle fatalities on rural roads in 2015 as compared to 8,262 fatalities on urban roads, according to a news release from SPD.
Half of those killed in rural areas weren’t wearing seat belts as opposed to 46 percent in urban locations. In addition, 61 percent of motorists killed in pickup truck crashes weren’t wearing seat belts.
“Our law enforcement personnel witness this preventable loss of life when unbelted motorists are involved in crashes,” Police Chief Bill Abbott said. “Our job is to keep community members safe.”
Indiana’s annual rural demonstration project is made possible through federal highway safety funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
To learn more about seat belt safety, visit nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts.