Increased Fatalities On Kan., Mo. Roads In 2012

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - "If they could see what we saw, I don't think anybody would neglect a seatbelt," Sgt. Bill Mahoney said.

Mahoney has seen a lot of bad motor vehicle crashes in his years with the Kansas City, Mo., police department.  He's surprised more people don't buckle up.

"It just takes a second to put a seatbelt on," he said.

In 2011, 66 people were killed on Kansas City's roads in motor vehicle crashes.  In 2011, 72 people were killed. Sixty-four percent of those people killed in automobile crashes weren't wearing seatbelts.

"Your seatbelt gives you the best chance to survive it, but sometimes, you know, nothing's fool proof, sometimes it's just not enough," Mahoney said.

The number of traffic fatalities in general went up in 2012 for both Missouri and Kansas.  In Missouri during 2011, 786 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes.  In 2012, 823 people were killed, according to preliminary numbers from the Missouri Department of Transportation.  Sixty-four percent of those killed weren't wearing a seatbelt.

In Kansas during 2011 there were 386 traffic fatalities, but that number increased in 2012 to 402 according to preliminary reports from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Sixty-three percent of those killed weren't wearing a seatbelt.

In Kansas City, Sgt. Mahoney says impairment through drugs or alcohol made up for 50-percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012, which he says is about the same as 2011.  Sgt. Mahoney also said the number of single-vehicle fatal crashes increased this year, some believe it's due to distracted driving, but he says that's a very difficult thing to prove.

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