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St. Robert police checkpoint shows seat belt use increases to 98 percent
ST. ROBERT, Mo. (April 16, 2009) — Seat belt usage continues to increase in St. Robert, according to Sgt. Butch Hohman of the St. Robert Police Department.

Hohman announced Thursday that the results of a Wednesday checkpoint on Old Route 66 show that usage increased from 97 percent in the last checkpoint to 98 percent in this month’s checkpoint.

“I am pleased with this increase, but am hoping this number will rise to 100 percent compliance,” Hohman said in a prepared statement. “I wish to thank all drivers for being patient during the checkpoint and wearing their seatbelts.”

The checkpoints are conducted by St. Robert police using traffic safety grants that pay for the overtime of the officers; another more intensive checkpoint is planned later this month to identify intoxicated drivers and take them off the roads. For major checkpoints, St. Robert firefighters and Mark Twain REACT volunteers typically assist with traffic control and setting up lighting for nighttime operations. Locations for the checkpoints have varied, but are usually on major routes through St. Robert that have adjacent parking lots where cars can be diverted for additional screening as needed.

Wednesday’s safety checkpoint assigned officers for two and a half hours to check vehicles randomly for safety equipment such as working lights as well as checking drivers to verify that they have their licenses and insurance identification cards, were using seat belts, and were using child restraints if children are in the vehicle.

According to Hohman, 1,282 vehicles passed through Wednesday’s safety checkpoint. Of those, 35 vehicles — less than 3 percent — were stopped and checked for proper operation of safety equipment.

Hohman said officers found 23 violations ranging from tinted windows, lights that were not working and drivers and front seat passengers who were not wearing their seatbelts.

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