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“CLICK IT OR TICKET” STRICT STATEWIDE ENFORCEMENT OPERATION UNDERWAY - SEAT BELT USE CAN SAVE ARKANSAS LIVES

May 21, 2015

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
ANN WHITEHEAD
ARKANSAS STATE POLICE HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICE
(501) 618-8133 - ANN.WHITEHEAD@ASP.ARKANSAS.GOV

  (LITTLE ROCK) – An observational survey conducted across Arkansas during 2014 indicates that one out of every four motorists in Arkansas is not using a seat belt.  The use of seat belts by Arkansas motorists stands at 74% compared to a national average of 87%.

  “A seat belt has proven to be the single most effective piece of safety equipment drivers and passengers can use to avoid death or serious injury in a motor vehicle crash,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “Sadly, the numbers indicate that people still aren’t getting the message about seat belt use.”

  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration preliminary statistics for the calendar year 2014 show there were 466 traffic fatalities in Arkansas. Of those traffic fatalities, 333 were motor vehicle occupant fatalities, over half of which were not using seat belts.

  “While the loss of one life is one too many, we are concerned that some lives could have been saved had the drivers or passengers been buckled-up,” Colonel Bryant stated.

  The Arkansas State Police and other state and local law enforcement agencies are committed to strictly enforce the seat belt law, not only during the days leading up to and during the Memorial Day holiday, but throughout the year as a means to reduce the incidents of fatalities on Arkansas roads and highways.

  The annual Click It or Ticket law enforcement mobilization is already underway and will continue through May 31st as law enforcement officers statewide join together to enforce the seat belt law.  Arkansans will also notice an intensified media campaign emphasizing the importance of buckling up when traveling in a motor vehicle.

  “It’s not about issuing tickets, it’s about saving lives,” said Colonel Bryant.  “We keep working toward the day when everyone is buckled up and we can celebrate zero preventable traffic deaths in Arkansas.”

  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office urges everyone to buckle up, every trip, every time, especially during the upcoming holiday when more motorists will be on the road.

  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 should 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.

  For more information on Click It or Ticket, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.