Click It or Ticket Underway

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Law enforcement agencies from throughout the area are banning together as part of the ongoing "Click It or Ticket" campaign. This national campaign stresses the importance of wearing a seat belt. It's a decision which local officials say can mean life or death.

"This year we've had 18 fatalities within our district," says Sgt. Ronnie Carter with the Mississippi Highway Patrol, "two of those fatalities were belted, so the biggest portion of our fatalities in this district are unbelted!"

It’s a deadly decision which is often made even by some of the most informed.

"Many people believe that with military personnel, more people die in combat but the number one killer for military personnel is traffic accidents," says Lt. Christopher Gaskin, who is the director for Terrorism and Law Enforcement at Naval Air Station Meridian.

Meanwhile, others at high risk of death or serious injuries in crashes are children who are not properly restrained. That's why local officials say fines for this violation are so much higher.

"Our fines in Lauderdale County are $96.50 for a child restraint violation and $25 for a seat belt one," says Dep. Tony McMahan with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department.

While tickets can get costly, officers say it's the benefit of wearing a seat belt that can be priceless.

"The life you save may be your own," says Sgt. Carter.