Kyle Police to increase seat belt oversight 

By Sahar Chmais

Kyle Police Department (KPD) wants residents to buckle up in anticipation of an increased traffic flow this summer holiday.

To ensure greater safety oversight, the KPD is joining forces with the Texas Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies to increase seatbelt use. Expanded enforcement of the seat belt laws between May 24 and June 6 is a key component of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) annual Click It or Ticket seat belt safety campaign.

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a car crash by 45% for front seat passengers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seat belts reduce the risk of dying in pickup trucks by 60%, as these vehicles are more likely to roll over.

“While many motorists properly utilize restraint systems, there are still a large number who do not,” said Sgt. Tracy Vrana of the Kyle Police Traffic Division.  ”Fastening a seat belt only takes a few seconds and properly securing a child in a safety seat takes only a bit longer, regardless, it is a small fraction of time which can make a life-or-death difference. Annually, many motorists lose their lives due to either improper restraint use or not wearing them at all. Our hope is that we can decrease that number by a large margin.”

Over 1,000 people who died in a crash on a Texas road last year were not wearing a seatbelt, according to recent TxDOT data.

Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to wear a seatbelt, or face a fine and court, which costs up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be in a child safety seat or booster seat, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If these kids are not properly restrained, the driver faces fines up to $250 plus court costs.

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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