TEXARKANA (KTAL/KMSS) – Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and as many folks prepare to hit the road to celebrate the holiday, local law enforcement is gearing up to help make sure you get where you’re going safely.
Officers from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas are teaming up to raise awareness about seatbelt safety.
The sound when the belt clicks into place in the car could not only save you from a fine, but also save your life.
“I’ve been in law enforcement 23 years, seen numerous incidents where people were ejected, thrown out, maimed or mangled, due to not wearing a seatbelt,” said McCurtain County, Oklahoma, Sheriff Kevin Clardy.
Now through June 2, law enforcement agencies throughout the four-state area are participating in the nation-wide “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Representatives from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas stood alongside Texas Department of Transportation officials Monday outside the Bi-State Justice Building to show a unified stance in raising awareness about seatbelt safety.
“We have travelers coming from Texas into Arkansas, from Oklahoma into Arkansas, from Louisiana into Arkansas,” said Arkansas State Police Sgt. Seth Pinner. “So, the more people we can educate to wear their seatbelt, the better.”
Seatbelts prevent drivers and passengers from being thrown from a vehicle in a crash, something an on-site rollover demonstration illustrated.
“We know that traffic accidents happen and what we want to do is then lower the impact that that has on the occupants of the vehicle,” said Texas Highway Patrol Sgt. Jean Dark.
“It’s not about a fine, it’s all about safety,” said Louisiana State Police Trooper Brent Hardy. “Driver safety and passenger safety.”
Officials said wearing a seatbelt reduces risk of dying in a crash by at least 45 percent.