Law Enforcement Officials Gear up for Holiday Travel

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Meridian, Miss. Memorial Day weekend is here and in wake of this, the annual Click It or Ticket Campaign has launched. Several law enforcement agencies from around the state gathered at Wiedmann's to promote the campaign and talk about their strategy of enforcing the seat belt law.

"It started on Monday, May the 19th and goes through Sunday, June the 1st," said Twyla Jennings of the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety. "It is a two week period around Memorial Day because Memorial Day is one of the deadliest holidays we have. It's the start of summer, the children are getting out of school and everyone is out on the road."

The Mississippi Office of Highway Safety says since 2012 seat belt usage has been down and the number of fatalities from car crashes are up.

"In 2012 we had 582 fatalities and in 2013 we had 613 fatalities, so that's about a 5 percent increase," said Jennings. "We also had a decrease in our seat belt usage rate, in 2012 it was 83 percent where in 2013 we decrease down to 74 percent."

Although the Mississippi Highway Patrol currently has a trooper shortage, Sergeant Andy West of Troop H says they will have more manpower during this holiday week as well as during the Click It or Ticket campaign.

"We actually have a program in place to where we can actually utilize the individuals that are normally off," said West. "They are actually able to come back to work and work their time off, to try and give us a little more manpower on the road, to try to decrease the number of fatalities and try to increase the usage of seatbelts. "