LOCAL NEWS

CPD joins seat belt enforcement patrols

Crawfordsville Police Department is joining 20 other law enforcement agencies and Indiana State Police in enforcing seat belt laws across 30 rural counties with the highest rate of unrestrained crashes.

Beginning Tuesday, multiple weeks of high-visibility day and nighttime patrols will be watching for unrestrained passengers in the front seats and back.

There were 12,797 passenger vehicle fatalities on rural roads in 2015 as compared to 8,262 fatalities on urban roads, according to a press release from Buckle Up America, a campaign from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 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,” CPD Chief Mike Norman said. “Our job is to keep community members safe. If the enforcement crackdown gets people to buckle up in every seat and every trip, it will save lives.”

The annual enforcement campaign 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.

The NHTSA offers the following tips:

• Secure the lap belt across your hips and pelvis, below your stomach.

• Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and rib cage, away from your neck.

• Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.

• If your seat belt doesn’t fit, or you have an older car with lap belts only, ask your dealer or vehicle manufacturer about seat belt adjusters, extenders or retrofits.