Traffic Fatalities Up, Seat Belt Usage Down

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Jackson, Miss. New numbers from the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety show seat belt usage is down and the number of fatalities from car crashes is up in the state.

The numbers come as the Click It or Ticket campaign ramps up all across the country.

Through June 1, state and local law enforcement officials are stepping up enforcement to catch motorists who aren't wearing seat belts.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the new data shows the observed belt usage rate is at 74.4 percent. That's compared to 83 percent in 2012.

Fatalities also increased last year. In 2013, 613 people died from traffic crashes in the state of Mississippi. That's a 5.3 percent increase from 2012.