As the summer season begins and families set out on their travels across Arkansas, state and local law enforcement officers are sending a clear message to motorists, Click It or Ticket. Seat belt laws are enforced to protect drivers and their passengers from unnecessary injuries and death.
A state seat belt enforcement campaign begins this week (May 22nd) and continues through June 7th, coinciding with one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends each year.
"Our law enforcement officers see firsthand the loss of life and trauma when people refuse to buckle up," said Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce. "It's such a simple step, buckling up, when you first sit down inside a car or truck, it should be second nature. Why wouldn't you want to do something that increases your chances of keeping you or your family safe?"
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analysis from 2018 documented 9,778 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes on U.S. roads. That same year, 56 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 AM - 5:59 AM) were not wearing seat belts. The statistical study has led law enforcement agencies to place additional emphasis on nighttime seat belt enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies are taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, whether a violator is stopped day or night.
Arkansas law enforcement officials urge everyone to buckle up, every trip, every time, especially during the upcoming holiday when more motorists will be on the road.
Arkansas law requires that all front seat passengers, not just drivers, be buckled up. It 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 should 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.
For more information about "Click it or Ticket" visit trafficsafetymarketing.gov/ or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on the ongoing "Toward Zero Deaths" campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org