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Unhooked: Death Rate Rises

Deputy Police Chief Cy Ritter.
kcmo police department
Deputy Police Chief Cy Ritter.

Kansas City, Mo. – People using cars are killing themselves and others in Kansas City at a near-steady rate comparing this year with last, with one notable exception. More passengers are falling victim.

The percentage increase is more alarming than the actual numbers: an 80 percent rise in passenger deaths as reported at the December meeting of the Kansas City Board Of Police Commissioners. There were ten last year, eighteen thus far in 2009. Patrol Bureau commander Cy Ritter is running a campaign to let men and women behind the wheel know who will carry the blame in eyes of the law-- " the driver is responsible to make sure the people inside his vehicle are buckled up. If the passenger doesn't have a seat belt, it's still the driver that gets the ticket".

Deputy Chief Ritter thinks there is so much emphasis on drivers using seat belts, some people still don't recognize the need for every person riding in the car or truck to fasten themselves to the vehicle's frame. To date, there have been 64 traffic fatalities this year in Kansas City. Fifty eight died in 2008.

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