So much so, the department will be holding a seat belt checkpoint at an undisclosed time and location within the city limits on Wednesday to make sure everyone is buckling up.
According to Tom Patton, public information officer for the Kingsport Police Department, the ultimate goal of this effort is to reduce injuries and save lives in motor vehicle accidents that will inevitably occur.
Violations of occupant protection laws are considered primary offenses in Tennessee, meaning that if a police officer sees you not wearing a seat belt, or your child not properly restrained, then you could be stopped and cited.
And this could be done without the officer seeing any other criminal or traffic offenses, Patton added.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Occupant protection laws apply not just to the driver, but to every individual in the vehicle. At the age of 16, a passenger assumes personal responsibility for wearing a seat belt and would receive their own citation for not wearing one.
However, the driver would be cited for each passenger under the age of 16 who is not properly restrained.
Patton said that wearing a seat belt can easily make the difference between you being seriously injured or killed in a crash versus walking away from an accident with minor injuries or no injuries at all.
SPREADING THE MESSAGE
In addition to holding this undisclosed checkpoint on Wednesday, the Kingsport Area Safety Council is also working to spread the message about seat belt safety in our area. The council recently partnered with local Hardee’s restaurants and the Kingsport Police Department to encourage seat belt use.
Signs have been placed on area Hardee’s properties at the parking lot exits to remind patrons to buckle up as they leave.
The Kingsport Area Safety Council, formed in 1944, conducts monthly community safety awareness meetings, facilitates an annual educational safety seminar and supports numerous safety-oriented community projects throughout the year.