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Maumelle police to crackdown on Teen drivers

Teenagers - be forewarned.

A Maumelle crackdown on seat belt use of teen drivers is underway in Maumelle and scheduled to last through March 23.

The effort is a joint State, county and city law enforcement two-week mobilization campaign that started on March 10 and will last through March 23.

Maumelle police public information officer Capt. Jim Hansard said the goal is to increase seat belt use among young drivers and passengers and ultimately save lives.

Law enforcement officers all over the state will be stepping up their enforcement of safety belt laws as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign. The goal is not to write tickets, but to get everyone buckled up, especially teen drivers and their passengers, Hansard said.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. In 2012, 73 percent of young people ages 16-20 who died in traffic crashes in Arkansas were not buckled up.

“Teens and young adults buckle up far less frequently than adults and remain the lowest seat belt usage group.” said Hansard.

According to research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens do not fear injury or death as much as they fear getting a ticket. “Our message is simple, said Hansard “If you don’t buckle up to save your life, then buckle up to save yourself a ticket.”

While national seat belt use stands at 84 percent, Arkansas’ seat belt use rate is only 77 percent. Further statistics from NHTSA indicate that safety belt use for teens and young adults continues to lag behind the rest of the population.

Arkansas law requires:

• Seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers.

• Everyone to be buckled up if a driver has a learners or intermediate license.

• All children under fifteen years of age to be properly restrained.

• Children younger than six years of age and weighing less than sixty pounds to be properly restrained in approved child safety seats.

For more information on teen driving safety visit SaferTeenDrivingAR.org or for Click It or Ticket, contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at 618-8136 or Hansard at 851-1337 ext 106.

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