Reno Police Officers Reward Teen Drivers

Reno Police officers presented 80 free music download cards to area student drivers who were wearing seatbelts when contacted during National Teen Driver Safety Week law enforcement activities to increase seatbelt use awareness and further reduce the reported accident rate in the City of Reno.

Reno Police officers initiated 200 separate contacts with vehicle drivers in the 16-20 year age range driving to and from school during the October 20-November 4 campaign that included similar efforts by other area law enforcement agencies.

The Reno Police effort also resulted in 32 total citations that included 12 seatbelt use violations as well as 20 other citations for violations ranging from speeding to not having a proper vehicle registration as well as adult seatbelt violations.

Seatbelt violations can amount to fines of $115.00 each for a driver responsible for minors under the age of 18 who fail to use seatbelts.

About 70 percent of the people ages 16 to 20 killed on Nevada roads in 2006 failed to wear a seat belt.

At least 13 of those 34 drivers and passengers would probably be here today had they taken the time to buckle up.

The increased Reno Police presence in and around high schools included the morning commute period, during the lunch break when students have the ability to leave campus and return, and during the after school period.

Reno Police officers also watched for motorists who put students and other pedestrians at risk by violating the 15 mile per hour speed limit in school zones, and watching for motorists to make sure they stopped their vehicles for school buses as they picked up and dropped off students, and that they paid attention to bus signaling devices that are activated when required stops are being made.

The teen driver seatbelt use emphasis program was funded through a grant from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety which provided the free music downloads to area law enforcement agencies to use as rewards for teen drivers who use vehicle seatbelts as part of the safety campaign.

The Joining Forces grant is used to support the Reno Police Department’s participation in statewide, multi-jurisdictional traffic enforcement activities that range from safety checkpoints to saturation patrols and enforcement of the “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt campaign focused on reducing fatalities and serious injury accidents in Nevada.

Those activities include enforcement of safety belt and child vehicle restraint laws, speed enforcement laws, pedestrian safety, and also targets those driving under the influence. Nevada was chosen as one of two states to be given federal funding to launch a teen “click it or ticket” campaign.

Regular use of seatbelts is probably the single most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities in traffic accidents, according to the Reno Police Department.

When worn correctly, seatbelts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent, and by 60 percent in pickup trucks sport utility vehicles and minivans.

Nearly one-in-five people or about 19 percent nationally, still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration observational seatbelt studies often resulting in needless tragic deaths that can be avoided simply be wearing a seatbelt.

Area law enforcement agencies participating in the National Teen Driver Safety Week campaign included the Reno Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Washoe County School District Police Department, Nevada Highway Patrol, University of Nevada Reno Police Department and the Sparks Police Department.