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Nov. 19, 2017
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Minutes for HB2076 - Committee on Transportation

Short Title

Creating the seat belt safety fund and increasing the fine for adult seat belt violations.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 7, 2017

Staff explained the bill to the Committee and answered questions.

The Chairman recognized Jim Hanni.(Attachment 1)  Mr. Hanni said this bill encourages and increases occupant restraint usage among teen drivers.  He referred to this as a long-term public safety culture change and that it not only has a significant solution for protecting Kansas kids but a source of funding has been identified--fines paid only by those who break the law, not just by Kansans.  Travis Lowe discussed the information provided by the Office of Judicial Administration on amending the percentage splits of fines, penalties and forfeitures into the Seat Belt Safety Fund.

The next proponents were Norraine Wingfield and Dave Corp who used a power-point presentation to show "Seatbelts Are For Everyone."(Attachment 2) They said after eight years of the SAFE program being a part of numerous schools across Kansas, positive change is still being seen in the teen seatbelt use.  They said in 2016, 85.5% of teens in the State of Kansas buckle up compared to 61% in 2009.

Chantel Shaw, Pleasanton High School, told of a truck running a stop sign and hitting the right front bumper of her car, spinning it around and into an iron sign.  She believes that if it were not for her seat belt she would not be here today. (Attachment 3)

The Chairman recognized Vonnie Rickerson as the next proponent.  Her daughter, who accompanied her, had been in an accident while wearing her seatbelt. (Attachment 4) Unfortunately Mr. Rickerson's mother was not wearing a seatbelt when she was in an accident and she did not survive the crash.  Ms. Rickerson said she believes seatbelts saved the lives of her daughter and boyfriend and if her mom had been wearing a seatbelt the day of her wreck, she may have lived.

Retired Sheriff Sandy Horton said in 2008 only 61% of teen drivers buckled their seatbelts.  In 2012 the teen seatbelt compliance rate in Crawford County had increased to 88%.  There were 33 rollover accidents that year involving teen drivers and passengers and of those 33 only 3 were unbuckled.  He said there have been no fatalities involving teens in Crawford County since introducing SAFE in 2008. (Attachment 5)

The next proponent was Teresa Taylor, representing the KS Emergency Nurses Ass'n., the KS State Nurses Ass'n. and a member of Safe Kids KS Coalition.  Ms. Taylor said nurses from across the state have seen the devastating injuries and even death associated with teens involved in motor vehicle crashes.  She said they believe those injuries could have been significantly reduced if teens understood the importance of wearing seatbelts. (Attachment 6)

The Chairman recognized Ed Klumpp, representing the KS Ass'n. of Chiefs of Police and KS Peace Officers Ass'n.  He said the SAFE Program has proven effective in increasing seatbelt usage and reducing teen fatalities.  He said the passage of this bill will expand the SAFE Program into many more high schools in Kansas.  Mr. Klumpp said the bill moderately increases the fine for adult seatbelt violations and these additional fine receipts are then diverted into a fund to support the SAFE Program. (Attachment 7)

The Chairman drew the Committee's attention to the written testimony in support of HB2076:

William Sachs, Trauma Medical Director, Stormont Vail Health (Attachment 8)

Amanda Gress, representing KS Action for Children and Voices for Children Foundation (Attachment 9)

KS Department of Health and Environment, Secretary Susan Mosier (Attachment 10)

Brandon Beck, President, KS EMS Ass'n. (Attachment 11)

Phyllis Larimore, Program Coordinator, Center for Childhood Safety (Attachment12)

Kansas Highway Patrol (Attachment13)

Neutral testimony

Joe House, Executive Director, KS Board of Emergency Medical Services was the only neutral testimony.  Mr. House asked the Committee for consideration of the proposed amendment to continue the percentage disbursed to the EMS revolving fund and the trauma fund at the currently set statutory level with no increase and no decrease. (Attachment 14)

There were no additional proponents or neutrals and no opponents to this bill so after all questions had been answered the Chairman closed the hearing on HB2076 and opened the hearing on HB2170.