TYPE OF INCIDENT: Safety Belt and Child Seat Enforcement
DATE/TIME: May 14, 2018 through May 27, 2018
LOCATION: City of Medford
The Medford Police Department will be working in partnership with the Oregon Department of
Transportation, Oregon State Police and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to increase proper
safety belt and child car seat use during a statewide traffic enforcement “blitz” from May 14 through
May 27. Officers will also be on the alert for persons exceeding the posted speed limit or violating
the cellphone law. This enhanced enforcement is paid for by dedicated funding through USDOT’s
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Non-Use of Restraints: According to the 2017 Oregon statewide observed use survey, 3.2% of
front seat motor vehicle occupants do not routinely use restraints. During 2016, crash reports
(FARS) indicate 22.35% of motor vehicle occupant fatalities were unrestrained (17% improvement
from 2015) and 21 percent were of unknown restraint use status (62% increase from 2015).
Improper Use of Safety Belts: Oregon law requires "proper" use of safety belt and child restraint
systems. Some adult occupants inadvertently compromise the effectiveness of their belt systems
and put themselves or other occupants at severe risk of unnecessary injury by using safety belts
improperly. This is most often accomplished by placing the shoulder belt under the arm or behind
the back, securing more than one passenger in a single belt system, or using only the automatic
shoulder portion of a two-part belt system (where the lap belt portion is manual).
Improper Use of Child Restraint Systems: Data collected through child seat fitting stations
indicate the majority of child restraints are used incorrectly - up to 73 percent in 2014, according to
Safe Kids Worldwide. Drivers are confused by frequently changing state laws, national "best
practice" recommendations, and constantly evolving child seat technology.
Premature Graduation of Children to Adult Belt Systems: Crash data from 2015 indicates that
of the 1,709 injured children under age twelve, 47 percent were reported not using a child restraint
system. Although Oregon law requires use of child restraints to age eight or four feet nine inches in
height, Safe Kids Worldwide indicates many children will be eight to twelve years of age before
they meet this height requirement and can fit properly in an adult belt system