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Indiana State Police announces more strictly enforcing seatbelt laws


Indiana State Police released an announcement about a commercial motor vehicle seatbelt enforcement blitz earlier today.

Indiana State Police (ISP) will be participating in a statewide seatbelt enforcement overhaul that will focus on commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

ISP Commercial Motor Vehicle Officers and Motor Carriers Inspectors will be increasing enforcement specifically from September 24, 2017, to Septemeber 30, 2017.

ISP’s goal for this statewide crackdown is to lessen the number of CMV crashes, and in direct correlation lower the number of injuries and fatalities in these accidents, ISP is heavily focusing on seatbelt safety and education.

According to ISP, “It is an undisputed fact that proper seatbelt use reduces the possibility of injury or death the result of a crash.”

The police’s focus on commercial vehicle drivers is that it has come to their attention that some operators are not wearing their seatbelts at all.

Division Commander Maj, Jon Smithers says, “Unfortunately, we are finding – more often than not – that many CMV drivers are using a device on the shoulder strap portion of the safety belt that is designed to reduce tension on the shoulder.”

Although truck drivers are on the road more often than they aren’t, it is still imperative to wear a seatbelt the correct and safe way – without any obstructions between you and the seatbelt.

He continues to say, “The loosening of the shoulder strap can compromise the effectiveness of the safety belt and is also in violation of the Indiana seatbelt law and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

News and Tribune reported, the reason for this regulation is not to issue a higher number of tickets; however, a driver receiving a traffic ticket will also be cited for a seatbelt violation.

ISP’s consideration for CMV drivers stems from the lack of airbags in some cabs. Compared to cars or pickup trucks the safety system in some cabs is wildly lacking.

In the press release ISP explains, “It is important to note that semi-tractors do not have any type of air bag safety system installed within the cab of the truck, as compared to airbag systems installed in modern passenger cars and pick-up trucks. Unsecured commercial truck drivers involved in crashes can be thrown out of the driver’s seat resulting in a secondary crash when the truck is not brought to a controlled stop.”

The announcement also included some seatbelt facts and tips. They are as follows:

  1. Safety belts are proven to help drivers maintain control of the vehicle when involved in a crash, thus minimizing the chance of injury or death to you, your passengers, and other motorists.
  2. Safety belts can prevent you from being knocked unconscious in a crash, improving your chances of escape from a burning or submerged vehicle.
  3. You are four times more likely to be fatally injured when thrown from your vehicle the result of a crash. Your safety belt can keep you from being ejected.
  4. Driver error, severe weather, mechanical failure, and tire blowouts can all cause crashes. Safety belts prevent injuries by protecting your head and spinal cord.
  5. Safety belts are necessary even at low speeds. In a frontal collision at 30 mph, an unbelted commercial vehicle driver hits the windshield at that speed.
  6. Seat, lap, and shoulder belts can be easily adjusted to fit comfortably and correctly.
  7. Buckling up takes only about three seconds and can make a difference for a lifetime.

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