Click-It Or Ticket For The Summer Holidays

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- According to a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Arkansas is among only three states with an average seat belt use below 70 percent.

"It's either inconvenience, or it's not a habit, or they just don't think about it," said Bobby Beatty, who has two younger brothers, ages 15 and 16.

Beatty says their mom's always made them buckle up, so he doesn't worry about their safety too much.

"They're just in the habit now," he said. "When they're in a vehicle they have to have that across their chest or it doesn't feel right."

It's one very simple move, that if you're in an auto accident, could end up saving your life. Just pull the strap, click the buckle into place and drive.

And getting into that mindset before the summer holidays, could save you a lot of trouble.

Craighead County Chief Deputy J.R. Thomas says where there are holiday travelers, there will be officers waiting to see if you're going to click it, or get a ticket.

"The Craighead County deputies, along with State Police, everyone gets involved in this," said Chief Deputy of the Sheriff's Dept, J.R. Thomas.

The involvement comes at a critical time, when seat belt use among children ages eight through fifteen is down from 86 percent in 2006 to 82 percent in 2006.

Thomas says things look a little better since the start of the Click It or Ticket program in 2001.

Seat belt use statewide is up from 54 percent to 70 percent.

But, as Thomas says, they still have a ways to go.

"Seat belt use in pickup trucks among young people is way down," said Thomas.

All the more reason, he says, for young people to heed parents pleas and law enforcements threats to click it.

There will be two checkpoints set up this Memorial Day holiday weekend, according to the Craighead County Sheriff's Office.

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