The Arkansas State Police will be working alongside law enforcement agencies across the state during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period (Nov. 1925) looking for motorists who are not using their vehicle safety belts.
State troopers, local police officers and sheriff's deputies are reminding all motorists to "Click It" or risk getting a ticket.
The Thanksgiving holiday is typically one of the more dangerous and deadly times for highway or local street travel. Whether the trip is across town or across the county, distance makes no difference; safety belts and child restraints save lives.
During the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday period (Nov. 2328), 341 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. Nearly 50 percent of those killed were not buckled up.
"Unfortunately too many people need a reminder, and that's why city, county and state law enforcement officers will be working overtime this Thanksgiving with a strong Click It or Ticket mobilization effort," said Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor's Highway Safety representative. "Our state troopers will be out in full force to ensure drivers and passengers alike are buckled up as they travel to their destinations."
Intensified enforcement will be visible along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday, and violators will be ticketed.
"The Arkansas State Police will partner with several other states including Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas in an additional enforcement effort designed to protect motorists along the I-40 corridor," Bryant said. "Each state plans to assign a trooper to every 20-mile segment of I-40 during peak traffic hours."
Arkansas state law requires that all front seat passengers, not just drivers, be buckled up. It requires all children under 15 to be properly secured. A child who is younger than 6 and who weighs less than 60 pounds shall be restrained in a child passenger safety seat. If the driver has a restricted license, all passengers in the vehicle must be properly buckled up.
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.
For more information about highway safety during Thanksgiving, visit trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at 501-618-8136.
For more on Arkansas' ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit TZDArkansas.org.