Van Buren County Sheriff Department joins SAFE campaign

By | January 11, 2018 6:49 am

Van Buren County Sheriff Department recently announced that they would be partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for its fifth annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone campaign.

The SAFE campaign is a statewide initiative that is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout communities across Tennessee, including Spencer. The seatbelt campaign will officially begin on Feb. 1, 2018, and will continue until Aug. 1, 2018.

With the rapid changing weather conditions this time of year, the sheriff department states it is very important to use all safety precautions available to travelers. During a traffic collision, seatbelts are the only safety device that will keep drivers and passengers safely seated.

This will be the fifth year that the Tennessee Highway Safety Office has sponsored the SAFE campaign. In 2017, during the SAFE campaign resulted in,

-1,480 child restraint violations

-16,571 seatbelt violations

-835 other seatbelt enforcement activities

“In 2016, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 88.95 percent,” stated Vic Dohono, Tennessee Highway Safety Office director. “Last year, the state’s usage rate decreased to 88.51 percent. Our goal this year is to achieve 100 percent seatbelt usage across Tennessee through the SAFE campaign and other occupant-protection initiatives.”

Throughout Tennessee, a disproportionate percentage of unrestrained fatalities tend to occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m., according to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. Historically, approximately 50 percent of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities are unbelted. That percentage increases to nearly 60 percent when nighttime crashes are examined.

Therefore, Van Buren County Sheriff Department and other participating agencies will be focused on giving special attention to nighttime seatbelt enforcement during the SAFE campaign this year.

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