Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May as Seat Belt Safety Awareness Month.
The campaign, aimed at increasing seat belt usage through traffic safety checkpoints and enforcement patrols, occurs annually around the Memorial Day holiday, this year May 21 to June 3.
"Wearing a seatbelt, either as a driver of passenger, is the essential beginning for staying safe on the road", Campbell said. To meet our goals enforcement must continue along with efforts to educate all motor vehicle occupants about the importance of buckling up on every ride.
Law enforcement will be cracking down on Click It or Ticket violators around the clock. We see the loss of life. This should be automatic.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts save approximately 13,000 lives each year. At night from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, that number soared to 56% of those killed. Included is a national publicity campaign created to ensure that drivers and passengers recognize the life-saving value of seat belts. So please do not forget to Click It or Ticket.
Arkansas state law requires all front seat passengers, not just drivers, be properly buckled up.
"If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits", implored Sheriff Kent. "Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction".
Research has been found that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger vehicle occupants by 45% and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50%.