As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and more drivers hit the roads, the Paragould Police Department will be reminding all drivers of the importance of seatbelt use.

The annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s national seatbelt enforcement effort Nov. 16-29.

Aimed at enforcing seatbelt use to help keep people safe, the national seatbelt campaign runs concurrent with this busy travel season.

“During this campaign, we’ll be working with our fellow law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the seatbelt safety message gets out to all drivers and passengers,” said department Patrol Capt. Brent McCain. “By far, buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seatbelt all the time. We see the loss of life and devastating injuries that could’ve been prevented with the simple click of a seatbelt. That’s why buckling up is more than just a good idea – it’s the law.”

To kick off this year’s mobilization effort, NHTSA has asked all states to participate in the Border to Border (B2B) initiative, a one-day national seatbelt awareness event on Nov. 16 to be coordinated between participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons. B2B aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seatbelt enforcement and providing seatbelt fact sheets for drivers at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints.

According to NHTSA, in 2018, there were 9,778 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. The same year, 56 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were also not wearing seatbelts. So one focus of the seatbelt enforcement campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seatbelt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

More information on the seatbelt enforcement mobilization is available at www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

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