A summer of safety

Published 9:59 am Thursday, June 4, 2015

Welcome to June and, hopefully, in Michigan, our summer is here.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is launching its new summer safety campaign. Michigan’s Summer of Safety kicked off May 28, 2015. Summer of Safety is an outreach and a social media campaign to support increased statewide seat belt and impaired driving enforcement throughout the summer of 2015.

We encourage you to join OHSP in this worthwhile effort. There is a lot at stake. In 2009, Michigan led the nation in seat belt use with 98 percent of all motorists wearing their seat belts. Since that record-setting year, the rate has dipped to 93 percent and the adjudication of seat belt citations by the courts has dropped by more than 40 percent.

It’s important to raise the seat belt compliance rate. If Michigan had maintained a 98 percent belt use rate since 2009, an additional 115 lives could have been saved and 1,113 serious injuries could have been prevented.

How can you help? There are several ways to assist. Think of seatbelt usage, impaired driving, motorcycle riding, bicycling, walking, and distracted driving. Each week this summer I will expand on each of these topics with in depth safety tips.

To start with, I would like to introduce you to some summer travel tips.

• Never leave children or animals in the car; the temperature inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels quickly.

• Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations can prevent breakdowns before they happen.

• Expect to encounter roadwork, delays, and detours. Check routes before traveling.

• Prepare an emergency roadside kit, including jumper cables, a flashlight, and plenty of bottled water.

• Drunk driving and seatbelt enforcement will be in effect statewide all summer long.


Take safety for a ride. Any questions or comments can be directed to Trooper Robert Herbstreith, community service trooper, by email at TrooperRob53@yahoo.com or phone at (269) 683-4411.