Arkansas State Troopers are joining forces with other state and local law enforcement officers during the Thanksgiving holiday season in a crack-down on seat belt law violations.
The Thanksgiving holiday is typically one of the busiest travel periods, both in Arkansas and across the nation.
The enforcement effort began Monday.
"You will see our State Troopers out in force beginning Monday, Nov. 25, and we’ll be showing zero tolerance for anyone who is not wearing a seat belt," Col. Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative said. "Our goal is simple. We’ll strictly enforce the law in order to save more lives. If you are caught not wearing your seat belt, you can expect to be ticketed."
The Arkansas State Police will partner with other states including Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas to assign a trooper to every 20-mile segment of Interstate 40 during peak traffic hours, according to a news release issued by the ASP.
During the Thanksgiving holiday in 2011, three people died and 249 were seriously injured in vehicle accidents in Arkansas, according to the news release. In 2011, 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in vehicle crashes nationally were not wearing seat belts, the release states. Seat belts saved nearly 12,000 lives nationally in 2011, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.
"Buckling up is a proven life saver, but it’s often forgotten during rush of holiday travel," Col. Witt said. "Whether you’re driving across the country or just across town, buckling up is one of the best ways to ensure that you arrive safely at your destination. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a traffic ticket to get people to pay attention to this very simple message."
For more information about the Thanksgiving "Click It or Ticket" campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.