Law enforcement officers across Arkansas have teamed-up for a mission with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Their objective is to make the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday a safe one on Arkansas roadways.

Beginning Nov. 22, Arkansas State Troopers, along with local police and sheriff’s deputies will be working together to enforce Arkansas seat belt laws. The weeklong enforcement emphasis during the Thanksgiving holiday period is part of NHTSA’s high visibility Click It or Ticket seat belt awareness campaign designed to remind drivers and vehicle passengers that using their seat belts will reduce the risk of injury or death on Arkansas roads.

The consequences of failing to abide by the law to buckle-up could cost motorists a fine if stopped by a law enforcement officer for the violation. More importantly, it could cost them serious injury or their life.

“State troopers and other law enforcement officers too often are left to witness the tragic consequences when someone has chosen to ignore the most basic form of protecting themselves, a seat belt, as they travel the highway,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.

During the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday weekend (6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27 through 5:59 a.m. Monday, Dec. 2), there were 279 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes across the nation. More than half (54 percent) were unrestrained.

Nighttime proved even more deadly, with 52 percent of Thanksgiving weekend crashes occurring at night.

“These deaths represent needless tragedies for families across the nation,” Col. Bryant said. “Using a seat belt could mean the difference between life and death this Thanksgiving holiday and every day.”

The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to save lives by ensuring all Arkansas drivers and passengers get the message to wear their seat belts. The campaign combines powerful messages about seat belt safety combined with an emphasis through increased patrols by law enforcement officers looking for unbuckled motorists.

For more information about traveling safely this Thanksgiving, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky -driving/seat-belts or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

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