Police watching for distracted, unrestrained drivers

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2022 at 10:03 AM CDT
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THAYER, Mo. (KAIT) - As the Labor Day weekend approaches, area law enforcement agencies are urging motorists to buckle up and keep their eyes on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 51% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020 were unrestrained. That same year, 3,142 people lost their lives due to distracted driving.

With Labor Day just around the corner, law enforcement officers are watching and standing ready to ensure drivers follow a few simple rules.

Thayer Assistant Police Chief Luke Martin says his force doesn’t pull people over to be mean but to protect them from themselves.

“Buckle up, phone down. We just want to make sure everyone is driving safely and paying attention to what they’re doing on the roadway,” he said.

Martin has multiple years under his belt and has seen many things during his career.

He’s responded to accidents that could have had different outcomes had someone worn their seat belt.

“I’ve been to accidents over the years to where people were alive because they were wearing their seatbelts and saw some that had they have had their seatbelts on, it could have saved their lives,” said Martin.

For those that might be tempted to ignore the message, Martin says the seatbelt is something that could quite literally save their life, and it only takes a matter of seconds to put one on.

“You never know,” said Martin. “If that vehicle gets to rolling, if you have an accident, you don’t have your seatbelt on, you could get sucked out of that vehicle, and then, of course, if the fall doesn’t kill you, the vehicle crushing you can, so we always encourage people to wear their seatbelts.”

Martin said his crews will be in full force, watching for those who choose to break the law.