LITTLE ROCK | Arkansas State Troopers are joining forces with other state and local law enforcement officers over the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday. The unified effort is directed toward seat belt law violators.
The “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign during the holiday period begins November 24th and continues through November 30th.
“The Thanksgiving holiday is among the busiest of travel periods both in Arkansas and across the nation,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “State Troopers and other law enforcement officers will be working overtime to ensure the highways and streets are safe by strictly enforcing the laws, including the Arkansas mandatory seat belt law.”
There were 301 traffic deaths nationally during the 2012 Thanksgiving reporting period. Sixty percent of the passenger vehicle occupants who died were not wearing seat belts. In Arkansas, during the same holiday reporting period, ten people lost their lives and 201 people were injured.
According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during calendar year 2012 seat belts saved more than 12,000 lives nationwide.
Research indicates that with proper seat belt use, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.
“The numbers tell the story, buckling up saves lives,” said Colonel Witt. “Whether you’re driving across the state or across town, wearing your seat belt is one of the best ways to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.”
An intensified enforcement emphasis will be noticed along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“The Arkansas State Police will partner with several other states including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina during the ‘I-40 Challenge’ which is an additional enforcement effort designed to protect motorists along the I-40 corridor,” Colonel Witt remarked.
Troopers in the participating states will be assigned to every 20 mile segment of Interstate 40 during peak travel hours.
For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, visitwww.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visitwww.TZDarkansas.org.