From Media Reports
HATTIESBURG – The National Click it or Ticket campaign starts Monday, May, 21, in advance of Memorial Day and goes through June 3.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol and other local law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts, WDAM reported.
Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said motorists can expect increased patrols through midnight Tuesday.
“As we kick off the busy summer driving season, it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night — no excuses,” Brisolara told The Sun Herald. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt.”
About 52 percent of those who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 were not wearing a seat belt, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The statistics show 62 percent of those who died were killed between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. and were not buckled up.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year,” Brisolara said, “but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater.
“We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step on the part of motorists — clicking that seat belt.”
The Sun Herald said nationwide show seat belts saved about 11,949 lives in 2001, according to NHTSA.
Since the inception of the campaign, Mississippi has seen the seat belt usage in the state rise to over 80 percent and also has seen a considerable decrease in accident fatalities.
“Seat belt usage has increased dramatically since the first click it or ticket. I think it was like 70 something percent and now we’re up to 82 percent,” said Cpl. Todd Miller, Troop J Public Information Officer. “That’s a pretty good percentage, but we would like to get it closer to 100 percent if possible.”
Memorial Day is the first holiday of the summer and sees more traffic accidents and fatalities, authorities have said.
During the campaign law enforcement in nearly every county will also have a heightened awareness on finding people who are driving under the influence. Individual municipalities will also have designated check points throughout the campaign.