HOPE, AR – Starting Monday, law enforcement across the state will be stepping up enforcement of seatbelt laws during the Thanksgiving week. According to the Arkansas State Police, the Click It or Ticket Thanksgiving campaign will run from Monday, November 20 through Sunday, November 26.

Law enforcement takes part in the increased seatbelt enforcement during all holiday seasons when there is an increase in people traveling the highways resulting in an increased chance of crashes. The campaign, initiated by the US Department of Transportation’s National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is said to be designed to save lives by increasing seatbelt usage through media saturation, increased patrols aimed at unbuckled motorists and fines for those not wearing their seatbelt.

Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, said that more than half those who died in crashes during Thanksgiving in 2015 were not wearing their seatbelt. According to the NHTSA, from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 through 6 a.m. on Monday, November 30, 2015, 301 people were killed in crashes nationwide. Over 150 of those were not wearing their seatbelt.

Hope Police Assistant Chief Kim Tomlin called the statistics “really troubling”. Tomin said, “Whether you’re driving to the grocery store, a friend’s house a mile away or your grandparents’ house across the country, please buckle up this Thanksgiving.”

The Hope Police Department will be taking part in the zero-tolerance crackdown along with the State Police. Tomlin said, “Drivers who fail to heed the warnings are taking too big a risk; a heavy fine or worse, dying in a crash.

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