It’s Thanksgiving week and many are taking to the roads as they travel to be with family during the holiday. Along with increased traffic, motorists can expect to see increased numbers of law enforcement out looking for motorists who aren’t wearing their seat belts thanks to federal grant money from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for their Click It or Ticket campaign.
The Arkansas State Police says the Thanksgiving holiday period is typically one of the more dangerous and deadliest times for highway or local street travel. According to the federal government’s statistics, 341 people were killed in crashes nationwide during the week of Thanksgiving in 2016 and half of those were not buckled up.
Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, said, “Unfortunately, too many people need a reminder and that’s why city, county and state law enforcement officers will be working overtime this Thanksgiving with a strong Click It or Ticket mobilization effort. Our state troopers will be out in full force to ensure drivers and passengers alike are buckled up as they travel to their destinations.”
Hope Police Department Assistant Chief Tomlin said Hope Police Officers will likewise be out in increased numbers for enforcement of the seat belt laws as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign. Tomlin said, “Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing to help prevent you from injury or death in a vehicle crash. Tragically, over half of the people who died in a fatal traffic crash during Thanksgiving 2016 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Those disobeying the law will be pulled over and ticketed.”
Arkansas state 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 shall 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.