Are Kansans buckling up?

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) reports that 2016 has seen more fatal crashes with unbuckled drivers and passengers than last year.

“In 2015 we had around 140 seat belt related fatalities this time last year,” says Jordan Plachecki of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “In 2016 our preliminary numbers are sadly 146.”

KHP says their efforts to enforce seat belt laws have remained the same for the last few years but the number of tickets written up for unfastened passengers has been down.

They say that’s mostly because people are wearing them. Last year there were 17,000 violations. Only 14,000 have been written this year.

There have been recent reports of unrestrained drivers who’ve died in car wrecks.

On Monday a 2013 Volkswagen Passat and a semi were both westbound on U.S. Highway 24 about two miles east of U.S. 75 when the Volkswagen rear ended the semi.

The passenger of the Volkswagen was taken to Stormont Vail in Topeka where he later died from his injuries. KHP says he was not wearing a seat belt.

On Sunday a Topeka woman died after her car crashed into a car driven by a Topeka Police Officer.

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