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Jacksonville begins seat belt enforcement effort

In an effort to increase seat belt usage in Jacksonville’s new and young drivers, the Jacksonville Police Department has started to conduct seat belt checks on both high school campuses. This campaign will run through October and will not only address seat belts but speeding and distracted driving as well.

“For the first month of the campaign we are hoping to change student’s driving habits from bad to good through verbal and written warnings”, says Sgt. Amanda Chapman, “but well into the campaign citations will be handed out to all drivers for these violations”

These activities start at 7 a.m. and go until 11 p.m.

While this campaign’s main focus is young drivers coming onto the school campus, officers will be conducting speed and seat belt enforcement on the streets surrounding the schools. Warnings will not be given for this enforcement conducted in the areas around the school.

“The goal of this campaign is to instill good safety habits in our young people from day one”, says Capt. Kenny Boyd with the Jacksonville Police Department, “and to remind older more experienced driver’s to be role models for safe driving habits.”

Jacksonville police aren’t the only law enforcement officers known to clamp down on motorists who don’t use their seat belts.

The seat belt enforcement mobilization effort known as Click It or Ticket was recently implemented by the Arkansas State Police.

The Arkansas State Police joined other state and local law enforcement agencies by more closely watching for seat belt violations, day and night.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants killed during 2010 in overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) motor vehicle traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts, compared to 42 percent during daylight hours. Compared to Arkansas statistics during the same reporting period and hours, there’s a marked increase in the non-compliance of seat belt laws. The overnight fatality crashes during 2010 jumps to 67 percent who were not wearing seat belts compared to 53 percent during the daylight hours. “Too many motorists on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and all too often it ends in tragedy,” said Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Our goal is to save more lives by reminding motorists to buckle up no matter what time of day or night.” While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21st through June 3rd, motorists should never forget law enforcement officers are enforcing seat belt laws year round. Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across America each year. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide. Yet, too many motorists still fail to buckle up. During the calendar year 2010 there were 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes and 51 percent of them were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes. In Arkansas 241 of the 407 motor vehicle occupants killed (59 percent) in crashes during 2010 were not properly restrained.

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