Don't forget to buckle up, day and night. The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office announced today that the Click It or Ticket campaign will return to play a critical role in the effort to keep people safe on our roads and highways during the Memorial Day holiday period. Over one hundred state and local law enforcement agencies will be working overtime May 24TH through June 6TH looking for seat belt law violators as part of the annual nationwide campaign.
Arkansas law was amended last year making a violation of the state's seat belt law a primary offense and allowing law enforcement officers to initiate traffic stops if the driver or their passengers are not properly restrained. This is the first major Click It or Ticket initiative since the passage of Arkansas' Primary Seat Belt Law.
"The initiative has one very simple objective - increase the use of safety belts among the public traveling on local roads and state highways," said Colonel Winford E. Phillips, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor's Highway Safety Representative.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were 12,671 vehicle occupant deaths during 2008 resulting from motor vehicle crashes nationwide between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 AM. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those who died were not wearing safety restraints at the time of the crashes. This compares to less than half of the passenger vehicle occupants (45 percent) killed during the daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 5:59 PM. In Arkansas 78 percent of those who died at night were unbelted, compared to 67 percent of those who died during the day.
These statistics reinforce the necessity to remind the public during the enforcement campaign to buckle up, day and night. A substantial amount of the overtime effort among law enforcement officers will be devoted to nighttime enforcement.