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Seat Belt Crackdown In the Works for Memorial Day

Posted on May 31, 2010 in Local Issues

Louisiana police and highway safety agencies are beginning the “Click-It or Ticket” campaign with the hope of stepping up education and seatbelt use in the state. Currently, seatbelt use has remained at 75 percent since 2004, which is 8 percent lower than the national average for 2008 at 83 percent. However, it is light-years ahead of the 1986 seatbelt use statistic of 12 percent. According to Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, each percentage point below the national average is roughly equivalent to 8 lives lost on our roads from not wearing a seat belt. Additionally, Tom Ed McHugh, executive director of the Louisiana Municipal Association, stated that 65% of the 900 people lost on our roads in 2008 were not restrained properly. In an effort to do this, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is planning to put up 2,500 new “Buckle Up, America” signs and have given an extra $1.3 million dollars to put extra patrolmen on the road to step up enforcement. Sgt. Markus Smith, a state police spokesman, said the “Click-It or Ticket” effort is timed for Memorial Day weekend in an effort to stop the traffic accident increase that occurs during this weekend every year.

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