Salem Police Seat Belt Safety Campaign Underway

Posted on February 3, 2020

Salem Police Officers is participating in three statewide traffic enforcement and safety campaigns starting today, February 3 through February 16, 2020. The department will increase traffic patrols during daylight hours for the purpose of enforcing seat belt and child restraint violations, speed violations, and distracted driving during this two-week campaign.

The Oregon Safety Belt Overtime Campaign is a statewide selective traffic enforcement program which utilizes federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The campaign’s goal is to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries by increasing public awareness of laws regarding the three most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crash injuries: safety restraint use, speed, and impaired drivers.

2017 crash data from the Oregon Department of Transportation shows lack of safety belt or child restraint use was a factor 64 of a total 285 motor vehicle occupant fatalities, or 22%.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading nationwide cause of death for children ages one through 12 years. In 2017, 1,906 children under the age of 12 years were injured in Oregon traffic crash, and nine percent were reported not using a child restraint system. It is estimated that car seats my increase crash survival by 71% for infants under the age of one and by up to 59% for toddlers ages one to four years. Booster seats may reduce the chance of non-fatal injury among four to eight-year-old children by 45% compared to safety belts used alone. Moreover, safety belts used correctly can reduce the risk of major crash injury or death by up to 65%.

In 2017 an Oregon law was passed requiring:

• Children to ride in a rear-facing safety seat until they are at least two-years-old. Previously the rear-facing requirement was until the age of one year. However, the law now takes into account the better protection of the child’s head, neck, and spine from potential crash injuries given a rear-facing seat spreads crash forces evening across the seat and the child’s body while also limiting forward or sideways motion of the head.

• A child over the age of two must continue to ride in a car seat with a harness, or booster, until they reach the age of eight year, or the height of 4 feet 9 inches and the adult belt fits them correctly.

For help selecting or installing child car seats, consult the seat manufacturer’s instructions, your own vehicle owner’s manual, or visit a local child seat fitting station. For resources please follow the links from our public safety partners, Oregon Impact and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Salem Police Department along with the Oregon Department of Transportation encourages all drivers and passengers to make a conscious effort to use their seat belt at all times when traveling in a motor vehicle regardless of the distance traveled. We also encourage the proper use of child safety seats and restraints.

Please contact the Salem Police Traffic Team at 503-588-6171 with any questions about traffic safety.
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