IACP, through its vast membership and the law enforcement agencies that our members represent, is committed to the safety of the motoring public. IACP recognizes the importance of occupant protection use both by adults and their children. We are fully aware of the many issues relating to child passenger safety, and as an association have encouraged our members for years to take a more aggressive enforcement role in this area. The association has worked tirelessly alongside of NHTSA and other national highway safety organizations to inform our members about these issues. Yet there needs to be even more of an enforcement presence to change that behavior of those who refuse to protect themselves or their children.
The IACP is now encouraged by the fact that the National Safety Belt Campaign has been formed by the major automobile manufacturers and insurance companies to address the problem of belt use in general and improper and outright lack of child safety protection specifically. We know that the campaign views strong enforcement as the key to its efforts.
IACP strongly believes that more can be done to enlist the widespread support of law enforcement in this mobilization effort. A cornerstone of this commitment is training. IACP has been on the forefront of in-service training to police officers and administrations on occupant protection issues. In order to push more aggressive child passenger enforcement, IACP believes that a major national training effort needs to take place. IACP has developed Operation Kids.
Police officers must also be role models to the public that they serve. Use of belts is no exception. If the public sees that police officers themselves, who are sworn to uphold the law, are in fact clear violators, then they in turn will disregard the law. Conversely, officers can offer some of the most convincing examples of effective belt use.