ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Law enforcement agencies across Kansas will be checking that drivers and passengers — especially newborns, infants, children and teenagers — are wearing their seat belts now through Saturday, Sept. 23.

According to the Arkansas City Police Department, eight kids between the ages of 0-13 died in a car crash in Kansas in 2019. Five of those kids were not wearing seat belts.

“In the health field, they talk about ensuring children have received their immunizations to prevent deadly diseases,” said ACPD Chief Eric Burr. “But what many parents don’t think about is that properly wearing a seat belt is the best prevention of serious injury or death in a vehicle.”

The ACPD says according to the 2019 Kansas observational seat belt survey, children are much more likely to buckle up if the driver wears their seat belt. About 97% of the children are restrained if the driver is buckled. Only about 30% of the children observed were buckled if the driver was not.

Law enforcement agencies will be extra vigilant when patrolling around schools this week.

“There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort. Officers will issue citations to anyone who does not obey Kansas law.” Chief Burr said. “Even one child’s death is unacceptable. Please slow down, especially in school zones, eliminate the distractions, and always buckle up.”

For more information on child passenger safety, click here.