Police and sheriff’s departments across Oregon will be conducting what they call a “safety belt overtime blitz” for the next two weeks. It’s also a chance for the public to be educated on current child safety seat laws.
The blitz will happen from May 23 – June 5. Law enforcement agencies will be using federally funded overtime to help educate the public, NHTSA said in a statement. Drivers should expect to see extra emphasis on seat belt use Monday.
Oregon State Department of Transportation statistics from 2020 find that lack of a seat belt or child restraint was a factor in 32% of driving fatalities in the state, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Oregon passed a law in 2017 requiring children under the age of two to ride in a rear-facing car seat. After they turn two, they must still ride in a car seat with a harness or in a booster until they reach age eight or if they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall and if the adult belt fits them correctly.
Child car seats help distribute the force from a crash evenly across the seat and a child’s body, NHTSA said.
Statistics from NHTSA:
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 1-12
- 1,019 children under twelve were injured in Oregon traffic crashes
- Ten percent were reported not using a child restraint system
- Of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in the United States in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts.
- In 2017, safety belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives nationally
- For drivers and front-seat passengers, using a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent in an SUV, van or pickup and by 45 percent in a car