DATE: Thursday, May 05, 2016
SUBJECT: Memorial Students Assist Sheriff’s Office with Seat Belt Survey
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

On Thursday, May 05, 2016 students from Reitz Memorial High School assisted the Sheriff’s Office in conducting seat belt use surveys.

The surveys were part of the statewide Operation Pull Over program administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). Participating law enforcement agencies across Indiana have been conducting visual surveys of vehicle traffic to determine the current level of seat belt compliance.

Today, the Sheriff’s Office and Reitz Memorial High School driver education students staffed pre-selected survey locations. Students (who were supervised by either a sheriff’s deputy or teacher) tallied the number of drivers and passengers who either did or did not buckle up. Students were also asked to take note of any distracted driving behavior they observed. Some of the comments from students included observations of: “using phone while driving”, “eating while driving” and “holding onto building material while driving”.

Sheriff Dave Wedding stated, “Partnering with Memorial High School is a great way for our office to accomplish multiple objectives. Not only is valuable seat belt usage data collected, but students get to see first hand just how prevalent the problem of unrestrained and distracted driving is.”

Nearly 1400 vehicles were counted in this morning’s survey. Passenger vehicles and trucks were tracked separately. A little over 89 percent of passenger vehicle operators wore their seatbelts, while only 67.5 percent of truck operators did so. Last year’s survey had nearly 89 percent of passenger vehicle operators and a little over 76 percent of truck operators buckling up.

After conducting the surveys the students participated in a news conference to announce the upcoming May “Click it or Ticket” enforcement blitz.  For more information, please click here: 2016-NR-028

Pictured above: Elise Deeg, Nicole Neisen, Travis Sides and Maz Ziemer visually survey vehicles for seat belt use.