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Teen Driver Safety - KOAM TV 7

Teen Driver Safety

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GALENA, KANSAS -

Starting in late February and going through March 9th, numerous 4-State law enforcement agencies are focusing specifically on dangerous driving by teen drivers. They're zeroing in on seat belt safety, and one of those agencies is the Galena, Kansas police department.

"Where normally, we may give a warning for a traffic violation, during this campaign there are no warnings. They will get cited," said Galena Police Chief Billy Charles.

There's a good reason for the campaign: It's to save lives. According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, in 2015, 40% of teens who were killed in car crashes, weren't properly restrained.


KOAM & Fox 14 spoke to some Galena High School seniors to find out what they think of the local police department's plan.

"I think saving lives is never inconvenient. I think wearing a seat belt is really important because it keeps you safe. It's not a hard thing to do. It just takes a couple of seconds. It doesn't require a whole lot of thought and it's important, because driving's really dangerous," said senior Taylor Smith.

"I personally think it's a really good thing that they're doing. They're trying to make sure everybody's safe and ultimately save a person's life. So I think it's great," said senior Gracie Quall.

"I don't feel we're being targeted at all because everyone does it. Everyone gets in a hurry. As teenagers, we're immature at our level and new to driving, and it sometimes just tends to slip, and I think it'd help if they just crack down on that," said senior Trevor Little.

And in Galena, the police have an ally in the form of Galena High's SAFE program.

"SAFE is 'Seat belts Are For Everybody,' and basically it's just a program that we keep here at school. Sometimes we'll have people stand at the entrance at the school and we'll tally up everybody who's wearing a seat belt, and at the end of the year, there's an award for the school with the most students wearing the most seat belts," said Quall.

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