Click It or Ticket campaign already in effect
Motorists should wear a seatbelt all the time, but this holiday week they could face stronger legal reasons to buckle up across the state. According to a press release from Bill Sadler, chief information officer with the Arkansas State Police, local and state law enforcement agencies started working extra-duty patrols on Monday and the patrols will continue through the holiday weekend.
The initiative is part of the Click It or Ticket campaign and the objective to increase seat belt use by reminding motorists to buckle-up, every trip, day and night, according to the release.
“The importance of buckling up every time you get into a vehicle cannot be stressed often enough,” said Col. Winford E. Phillips, director of the Arkansas State Police.
“Nighttime driving can be more dangerous because of reduced visibility and the possibility of impaired drivers being on the road.
“Highly visible patrols promote compliance with traffic laws and support officers’ efforts to prevent deaths and injuries,” Phillips continued.
During the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday travel period in Arkansas, five people died and 135 were seriously injured as the result of traffic crashes, according to the release.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during 2008 on U.S. roadways, nearly 13,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants, including both drivers and passengers, died in highway crashes. Nearly one third of these lives could have been saved if they had been properly belted.
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.
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