November 7, 2002

Law Officers Will Take Part In Seat Belt Enforcement

Missouri is urging its motorists to "Click it, Don't Risk It" and the Scotland County Sheriff's Department will be doing its part to assist the seatbelt awareness project.

The Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign is encouraging law enforcement agencies across the state to participate in the enforcement campaign centered around the Thanksgiving holiday from November 18 through December 1.

The group performed a similar awareness project over the Memorial Day holiday period and reported national seat belt use jumped up two percent to 75 percent nationwide.

"As a result of efforts of law enforcement agencies like the Scotland County Sheriff's Department, Missouri's belt use jumped from 67.7 percent to 67.9 percent," said Will Davison of the safety campaign. "We'd like to build on that momentum to increase belt use even higher."

The Scotland County Sheriff's Department will be making concentrated efforts during this period to check motorists for seat belt usage and encourages all motorists to obey the safety law.

The Missouri "Click It, Don't Risk It" campaign is part of a national enforcement campaign called Operation ABC Mobilization. It is sponsored by the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign in cooperation with the Missouri Division of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

"These high visibility enforcement campaigns are necessary because we continue to lose too many people on our roadways," Davison said. "In 2001 in Missouri, 920 adults and children were killed in car crashes - more than 572 were totally unrestrained. Tragically nearly half of these people would have survived had they simply buckled up."

Davison went on to say that the threat of a traffic ticket has proven more of a motivator to buckle up than the threat of injury or even death- especially among the hard-to-reach non-belt users.

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