WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Buckle up or pay up.
Starting this Saturday, seat belt fines are tripling in the state of Kansas. They will go from $10 to $30.
Crash survivor, Kaela Moore knows all too well what a difference wearing a seat belt can make.
“It seemed like I had everything together and in the blink of an eye, my life changed 100 percent,” said Moore.
November 15th, 2015 marks the day Kaela Moore’s life took a turn for the worst.
The 23-year-old was riding home with some friends that evening when the truck they were in rolled. Kaela and another passenger were not wearing their seat belts and was ejected from the vehicle.
“Which probably caused a majority of my injuries,” explained Moore.
She spent more than three months in the hospital, coming to terms with her new norm.
“I am paralyzed from T7 down, which is your abdomen down,” stated Moore.
Fast forward almost two years and this strong survivor is sharing a message with the public.
“I know that there are hundreds of thousands of lives that could be saved by wearing a seat belt and keeping you in that vehicle,” Moore said.
Which is why Moore is happy to know that two thirds of the new seat belt fine will go to the seat belt safety fund, to educate high schoolers on the dangers behind not wearing it.
“Those seat belts can save lives,” said Lt. Lin Dehning of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.
Of all the people killed or seriously injured in Kansas crashes, 71 percent were not wearing their seat belts.
Lt. Dehning said the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement entities are hoping this increase in fine will cause people to think twice, and buckle up.
”Kansas doesn’t have the highest usage percentage. We’d like to see 100 percent of people sitting in cars wearing their seat belts,” stated Dehning.
Since June of 2010, Kansas state law says that seat belt laws are a primary violation, meaning if law enforcement sees you driving without one, you will be stopped and given a ticket.