Law enforcement is looking for Thanksgiving holiday seat belt violations | recent news

Law enforcement officers across Louisiana will hand out tickets to motor vehicle drivers and passengers who do not wear seat belts during the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission announced.

The campaign begins on Saturday November 19 and ends on Sunday November 27.

“The ‘Click it or Ticket’ law enforcement campaign is solely an effort to prevent drivers and passengers from being injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes,” said LHSC executive director Lisa Freeman.

Freeman said 18 people were killed on Louisiana roads over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021, which was the second-deadliest holiday season that year.

“We want to make sure everyone can enjoy Thanksgiving with their family and loved ones every year,” Freeman said.

According to 2021 data from LSU’s Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety, in fatal crashes where seatbelt use is known, 59% of drivers were not wearing a seatbelt. The same statistics also show that 64% of passengers aged 6 and over who were killed were not properly restrained.

The LHSC’s 2022 Louisiana Seat Belt Compliance Survey shows that 86.1 percent of vehicle occupants wear their seat belts, compared to a national rate of 90.4 percent. For van drivers in Louisiana, the seatbelt rate is even lower and reportedly less than 81%.

Law enforcement has been trained to spot people not wearing seat belts. Louisiana law states that anyone in a vehicle – including rear seat occupants – must wear a seat belt or face a fine.

A ticket for not wearing a seat belt costs $50; subsequent tickets are $75 each.

“Our goal is not to distribute tickets; our goal is to save lives,” Freeman said. “Lives are priceless, and if it takes a ticket to save even one life, then ‘Click it or Ticket’ has served its purpose of public safety.”