More than 60 percent of drivers killed in traffic accidents on Memorial Day weekend in 2012 were not wearing seat belts.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Sergeant Brent Bernhardt, Troop B Public Information and Education Officer:

Brent Bernhardt

There were 944 crashes reported on Memorial Day weekend in 2012.  Those accidents resulted in nine fatalities and 355 injuries. Bernhardt stressed the importance of always wearing a seat belt and being alert, especially on holiday weekends such as Memorial Day.  He also said that there will be no tolerance for drinking and driving on Missouri roadways and waterways, stating the importance of designating a sober driver.

Press Release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol – Troop B

Captain James E. Wilt, commanding officer of Troop B, Macon, announces that from May 20, 2013, through May 31, 2013, Troop B officers will be conducting a “Click It Or Ticket” enforcement operation in Marion County. The enforcement operation is part of a national campaign focusing on seat belt violations in an effort to raise seat belt use and awareness. Sometime following this operation, representatives of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Division will conduct a seat belt survey in Marion County and other selected counties in the state. During last year’s seat belt survey, the Missouri usage rate for all vehicles was 79%, which is below the national average of 86%.

During this enforcement effort, the Missouri State Highway Patrol will continue its zero tolerance enforcement stance in an effort to raise seat belt awareness and compliance. Motorists are reminded that every driver and front seat occupant of a passenger vehicle and all occupants less than 16 years of age are required to be secured in a properly fastened and adjusted safety belt or child restraint seat. Children less than four years old are required to be in an approved child restraint seat. Children ages four to seven years old, and who weigh at least 40 pounds, but less than 80 pounds, and are less than 4’9” tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child. Persons under 18 years of age operating or riding in a truck must wear a safety belt, regardless of the truck’s licensed gross weight. Any driver who falls under the guidelines of a Missouri graduated driver’s license and their passengers are required to wear a safety belt, regardless of age or vehicle type.

“Special enforcement operations such as these are very important and effective,” states Captain Wilt. “Part of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s mission is to reduce injuries and fatalities on our roadways. We know many lives could be saved if more people took a few extra seconds to buckle their seat belt.”

The Patrol encourages motorists and watercraft operators to protect themselves by making sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint and everyone in the vessel is wearing an approved life jacket. Click It 4 Life and Wear It!!!