Rural Counties The Focus Of Recent Seat Belt Enforcement Patrols

Posted On August 16, 2017

Press release by the Franklin/Ripley County Traffic Safety Partnership

(Batesville, Ind.) – Over a three-week period, Franklin/Ripley County Traffic Safety Partnership issued 78 seat belt and 1 child restraint citations as part of an annual enforcement effort focused on rural counties with the highest rate of unrestrained crashes. A total of 21 law-enforcement agencies and the Indiana State Police participated in 30 Indiana counties.

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. 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.

“National research proves that seat-belt enforcement is the most effective way to prevent unnecessary loss of life in traffic crashes,” said Sheriff Kenneth A. Murphy. “In the front seat and back, day and night, properly wearing your seat belt is the law in Indiana. It is a quick and easy habit to learn, and the safest thing one can do.”

Indiana’s annual rural demonstration project began July 11 and is made possible through federal highway safety funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. To learn more about seat-belt safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts.