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State troopers on the lookout for unbelted occupants

WSP attempting to reduce the number of fatalities on Kitsap roadways

  • Thursday, May 13, 2021 12:55pm
  • News

If you’re a regular driver on Kitsap County highways, listen up. Or rather, buckle up, says the Washington State Patrol.

WSP is reminding drivers and passengers to buckle up before they hit the road in response to a number of fatality collisions involving unsecured occupants. Of the seven fatality collisions investigated in WSP’s District 8 so far — Kitsap is within the district’s borders — four involved unbelted occupants. The collisions occurred in Kitsap, Mason and Grays Harbor counties, agency spokeswoman Trooper Chelsea Hodgson said.

She said WSP troopers will be holding emphasis patrols throughout the summer, offering education and creating increased awareness among drivers and their passengers about the importance of seatbelt use.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, seatbelt use decreases the chance of someone dying or being seriously injured in a collision by about 70 percent.

Not wearing a seatbelt is also against the law. Failure to wear a seatbelt is a primary offense in Washington state and could result in a $139 fine if you’re stopped. Also, WSP said drivers and occupants may also be contacted for wearing their seatbelt improperly, such as behind their back or under their arm.

If you’re stopped for a child restraint violation, the $139 fine falls to the driver for failing to properly secure the child, no matter the relation.

— Bob Smith reported this story.

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