Law enforcement's Click It or Ticket campaign starts next week, and officials say there will be no leniency for those not wearing seat belts.
"Anyone caught not wearing a seat belt during this campaign, will receive a citation," said CPL Andy West of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop H.
Local law enforcement officers gathered to announce the 2010 Click It or Ticket campaign for May 24 through June 6. According to those involved, warnings are not an option.
:This program has been in existence for a number of years. Warnings are no longer applicable," said Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie. "We are issuing citations."
The Meridian, Marion, and Philadelphia Police Departments, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, NAS Meridian Police, and the Mississippi Highway Patrol are gearing up for participation in this nationwide enforcement campaign. All law enforcement officers will be out in force, both day and night.
"We're going to try to be more visible," said West. "We're going to have more manpower on the highways, still enforcing the same laws, but we're going to focus on seat belt usage. Our officers will be out looking for those individuals who choose to endanger themselves by not buckling up."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing your seat belt is the single most effective crash protection available. The NHTSA reports the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,250 lives in 2008. Campaigns like Click It or Ticket serve as a reminder to drivers of all ages that seat belts can't save even one life if they're not used.
"Seat belts aren't going to help you if you don't wear them," said West. "If you don't have them on, you can't get a benefit."
"Statistics can clearly show that those individuals who are buckled up have a greater chance of surviving motor vehicle crashes," said Sollie.
Law enforcement officers are urging everyone to buckle up. That way you can save the cost of a ticket, and potentially, your life.