Hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers are Being HonoredBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 10 Mar 2011 02:49pm |
Law enforcement officers from around Mississippi are being honored for their work in helping to save lives on the states roadways. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports they credit their success to better seatbelt education and enforcement.
From "Buckle for Life" to the now infamous "Click it or Ticket", Hermantarrio Jackson of the Jackson Police Department says seatbelt safety campaigns are helping to save lives in Mississippi.
"Cause so many people lose their lives because of not wearing a seat belt. I mean it just takes a second to click it or get a ticket. You know and so many people lose their lives because a seatbelt actually save lives from being ejected out of a vehicle."
Jackson was one of over 200 city, county, and state law enforcement officers honored in Jackson yesterday for their efforts to ticket seatbelt violators. Mississippi Highway Patrol Chief, Donnell Berry says that has special significance especially in a state like Mississippi.
"You know Mississippi is a predominately rural state and you got a people in the rural area who don't take wearing seatbelts seriously. But you know I've worked a lot of accidents and if those people had been wearing a seatbelt they'd be still here today. And I think this message is beginning to get out in the community that wearing your seatbelts is a safe thing to do."
Just a few years ago officials say only about 62% of Mississippians wore seat belts. Today that number is about 81%. Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz says while that number puts our seatbelt usage near the top in the nation there is still room for improvement.
" The best thing we've got going for us right now is the news media. Is buckle up and just like I mentioned a while ago about my two little granddaughters, it's getting the message out to where the young people pick it up. If we can educate the young people now we're way ahead of this game."
Mississippi law enforcement officers have written more than 42 thousand seatbelt and child restraint citations over the past year. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.
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