Safety Belt Enforcement Campaign May 08, 2017

Officers from the Coos Bay Police Department will join law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon in a Safety Belt Enforcement Campaign, from May 15th to May 27th.  This is the second of three scheduled safety belt and traffic safety campaigns for 2017.  The enhanced enforcement is funded through USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The focus of the program is to increase public awareness of the seatbelt laws with the goal of reducing traffic injuries and deaths.  NHTSA mandated observations of state belt use in 2016 revealed that Oregon’s belt use rate is 96%, significantly higher than the national average state use rate of 90%.

As members from the Coos Bay Police Department take to the road during this campaign, they will focus their attention on seatbelt violations and child safety seat violations, but will also be watching for drivers who are speeding, texting, and driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Oregon law requires that there be "proper use" of the entire seatbelt system; lap belt placed low across the hips and a shoulder belt over the collarbone and crossing the center of the chest.  Belts should be free of slack and lying flat with no twists or knots.  If necessary, slide the attachment on the door post up or down to fit the size of you or your passenger.  Shoulder belts should not be placed under the arm or behind the back as this can cause serious internal injuries or ejection in the event of a crash.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause nationwide of death for children ages one through twelve years old. Child seats may increase crash survival by 71% for infants under one-year-old and by up to 59% for toddlers aged one to four.  Booster seats may reduce the chance of nonfatal injury among four to eight year olds by 45% compared to safety belts used alone.

Oregon law requires children weighing less than forty pounds to use a child seat with harness.  Children under one year or weighing less than twenty pounds must ride in a rear-facing child seat.  A child over forty pounds must use either a child seat or booster until they reach age eight or 4’ 9” tall and the adult belt fits them correctly.  If you are unsure whether your child is ready to transition to an adult belt system, use the easy five-step test here:

For help installing child car seats, consult the seat manufacturer’s instructions, your vehicle owner’s manual, or visit a local child seat fitting station listed at: or at