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Zero tolerance for seat belt law violators

Police are on the lookout on the lead up to Memorial Day holiday

ralphhardin@gmail.com “We just want everyone to know that we’ll be out there on the prowl, making sure everyone is being safe,” said Marion Police Sgt. Bobby Morgan.

As Arkansas families begin to make plans for summertime road trips and vacations, law enforcement officers urge motorists to buckle up. State, county and city law enforcement officers will begin devoting additional patrols May 22nd through June 4th as part of the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign.

“Our state troopers see the personal and tragic results when motorists fail to buckle-up and there are terrible injuries and loss of life,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “It’s such a simple thing, and it should be an automatic next step after sitting down in a vehicle, just buckleup.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost half of the drivers and passengers killed in vehicle crashes during 2015 were not wearing a seat belt. The percentage of fatalities in this category increases during the nighttime hours.

The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office urges everyone to buckle up, every trip, every time, day and night, especially during the upcoming holiday when more motorists will be on the road.

Arkansas state law requires all front seat passengers, not just drivers, to buckle-up. The law 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.

Morgan said the Marion Police Department and the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department will be a part of the statewide effort.

“This is one of several times a year that we’ll be out as part of our STEP policy,” said Morgan.

STEP — Selected Traffic Enforcement Program — focuses on seat-belt, child restraint and DWI awareness through a strategic coordinated effort targeting motorists for those specific violations For more information about 'Click it or Ticket' and how seat belts save lives, click on www.nhtsa.gov/ciot or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 6188136. Information about Arkansas' ongoing 'Toward Zero Deaths' campaign can be found at www.TZDarkansas.

org.

By Ralph Hardin

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