From the Desk of Sheriff Mark Podoll
As some of you may already know, our office has again received a Task Force grant involving Seat Belt Enforcement. Our City Police Officers and Deputies will be teaming up with the Wisconsin State Patrol in concentrated deployments to enforce traffic laws and, in particular, required occupant restraint. We have two major deployments coming up soon.
Below is a fact sheet from the Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety that I thought was worth sharing with you.
Safety belts save lives and prevent serious injuries
- Consistent safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people from being ejected from a vehicle or thrown around violently inside it during a crash and possibly hitting another vehicle occupant with massive force.
More people are buckling up but improvement is still needed
- Wisconsin's safety belt use rate is approximately 88.4% - an all-time high for the state. Still, this lags behind the national average of 90.1%.
- In 2016, nearly half (47%) of the drivers and passengers killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes were not wearing safety belts.
Lack of safety belts use endangers teens
- Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults nationwide.
- Teens are needlessly killed or injured in large part because of a lack of safety belt use combined with inexperience behind the wheel and dangerous driving behavior.
Economic Costs of Not Wearing Safety Belts
- Motorists who are hurt or killed in traffic crashes because they didn't buckle up create tremendous economic losses, such as medical expenses. The rest of society pays for nearly 75% of these economic losses through higher insurance premiums, taxes, and other public funding, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
- Economic losses from traffic fatalities and injuries in Wisconsin totaled about $2.5 billion in 2015, according to the Wisconsin DOT.
Mark A. Podoll
Green Lake County