(LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police will be working alongside law enforcement agencies across the state during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period (November 19 – 25) 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 deadliest 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 (November 23rd – 28th), 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.”
An intensified enforcement emphasis will be noticed 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,” Colonel Bryant stated. “Each state plans to assign a trooper to every 20 mile segment of Interstate 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 fifteen years of age to be properly secured in the vehicle. A child who is less than six years of age and who weighs less than sixty 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, please visit www.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 www.TZDArkansas.org.