Every year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times. Millions of Americans hit the roads to spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, more vehicles on the road mean the potential for more dangerous roads, and it’s as important as ever that everyone is buckled up.
To make sure the message reaches all Hope, Arkansas drivers and passengers, Hope Police Department will be joining other state and local law enforcement agencies to participate in the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) high-visibility seat belt enforcement campaign Click It or Ticket. The no-excuses, zero-tolerance crackdown combines powerful messages about seat belt safety, and will be enforced with increased patrols day and night.
“The statistics are really troubling,” said Assistant Chief Tomlin. “Almost half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes are not wearing their seat belts. And during this busy time on our highways, we see way too many preventable fatalities in crashes.”
During the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. on Wed., Nov. 27, to 5:59 a.m. on Mon., Dec. 2), there were 301 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. Out of those accidents, 58% of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
These tragic crashes could have turned out differently. NHTSA research indicates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.
Drivers who fail to heed the warning are taking too big a risk—a hefty fine or worse: dying in a crash.
“Whether you’re driving to the grocery store, a friend’s house a mile away, or your grandparents’ house across the country,” Assistant Chief Tomlin added, “please buckle up this Thanksgiving, and every time you’re on the road.”