Overland Park just released the results of their Labor Day STEP enforcement program which ran from August 16 – September 3. STEP is a state-run program that fronts for two national programs “Click it or Ticket” and “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose”. The Labor Day effort was to devote 80% of its time toward DUI enforcement and 20% toward seatbelt enforcement.
It’s pretty clear from the numbers that the vast majority of citations written had nothing to do with DUI enforcement. Since Overland Park was not operating any checkpoints during this period, all of these stops would have been for cause, such as a moving violation or ordinance violation. It is pretty apparent from the numbers that a high percentage of stops were due to seatbelt violations. Once you are pulled over for that, then it is open season to find out what other violations can be found. The program lets local jurisdictions recover the cost of any overtime paid to officers involved in the program. So it is a license write as many tickets as possible since it doesn’t cost the city a dime of extra wages to write the tickets.
Here’s a fact on KDOT’s own website that you will never see in a Click-it-or-Ticket commercial: in 2011, 50% of traffic fatality victims were actually WEARING a seatbelt. So why is the state so eager to fund programs such as STEP? You won’t find Overland Park complaining.