(Independence, Oregon) — Beginning January 29, 2024, Independence police will join agencies across the state for focused enforcement of proper seat belt and car seat use.

Extending through Sunday, February 11, law enforcement agencies will use federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety belt and child seat laws including a law passed in 2017 requiring children to ride in a rear-facing safety seat until they are at least two years old.

ODOT crash data for 2021 shows lack of safety belt or child restraint use was a factor in 32% or 119 of a total 377 motor vehicle occupant fatalities. Of the 26,325 passenger vehicle occupants killed in the United States in 2021, 50% were not wearing seat belts.

This enforcement is made possible thanks to federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Impact.