As the unofficial start of summer, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is a busy time for Americans. Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles, on their way to start their summer vacations. To help keep drivers and passengers stay safe, Yazoo City Police Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 21 through June 3, concurrent with the busy travel season.
“Buckling up is such a simple task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” said Chief Ron Sampson “But it’s more than that. Buckling up is the law. Our law enforcement personnel see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life. Often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. This should be automatic.”
“As the Memorial Day weekend approaches and the summer vacation season ramps up, we want to keep our community members safe, and make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash: buckling up,” said Chief Sampson. “If the enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider it a success.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half (48%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 56 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Yazoo City, MS, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $54.00.
“In 2016, we lost 690 lives in motor vehicle crashes across Mississippi because they did not buckle their seat belts,” said Chief Sampson. Almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates, too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2016, more than half (52%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 40 percent were not buckled up.
“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” said Chief Sampson. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.