Morgan City police to watch for seat belt use
MORGAN CITY, La. — Police are cracking down on motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts by participating in the “Click It or Ticket Campaign,” according to a news release from Police Chief Travis Crouch.
The city and the police department have received funding from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, which the police department will use to support the “Click It or Ticket Campaign,” Crouch stated.
The Morgan City Police Department plans to step up enforcement of the state’s occupant protection laws during the two-week mobilization from Monday to June 2, the release stated.
“Click It or Ticket” is a high visibility enforcement and public awareness campaign aimed at saving lives by getting more people to wear their seat belts, Crouch stated. This special enforcement period is part of the state’s annual effort to increase seat belt use through a combination of high visibility enforcement, advertising, and public awareness campaigns.
In 2011, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide, according to the National Highway Safety Administration, the release stated.
The “Click It or Ticket” national and statewide mobilization will take place over the Memorial Day holiday period. According to the Louisiana Highway Research Group data, 11 people were killed in Memorial Day holiday crashes in 2012, more than during any other holiday in Louisiana that year, with the exception of Thanksgiving, the release stated.
Seat belt use in Louisiana has improved but remains far below the national average, Crouch stated. In Louisiana, 79.3 percent of people wear seat belts. This is well below the national average of 86 percent, the release stated.
A recent nighttime observational survey found an 11 percent difference in day and night seat belt usage, according to the release.
Louisiana Highway Safety Research Group data confirms that young adults in the age range of 18 to 34 are the lowest users of seatbelts. Younger motorists and young men, in particular, are most at risk.
Among teens and young adults, ages 18 to 34, who were killed in fatal crashes in 2011, 64 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash — the highest percentage of any group. The number jumps to 66 percent when only men in this age group are included.
Police encourage people to join their efforts to make the roadways in the community safer, Crouch stated.