(FOX 46 WJZY) - Law enforcement is reminding drivers this Thanksgiving week about their responsibility to buckle up when behind the wheel.
Troopers will be out patrolling North Carolina roads as part of the Thanksgiving ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign, that runs Monday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 25.
“This effort is about saving lives by increasing public awareness about the importance of seat belt use,” said Mark Ezzell, Director of The Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
Last year, more than 1,400 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes around the state.
Of those crashes a staggering 414 were unbelted. The five counties with the most people killed who were not wearing seat belts are ranked below:
- Mecklenburg County: 31
- Guilford County: 21
- Robeson County: 19
- Wake County: 15
- Forsyth County: 13
“These numbers are a reminder that dangers are lurking for every driver and passenger in every type of vehicle throughout the year, especially during Thanksgiving season when more people are on the road,” Ezzell said. “Many of those killed or seriously injured in crashes are unbuckled and data shows that they are the most at risk for dying if involved in a crash.”
During the 2017 Thanksgiving ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign, state, county and local municipalities across North Carolina conducted 428 checkpoints netting more than 40,000 traffic and criminal violations, including 678 felony arrests.
North Carolina law requires all passengers in a vehicle to be properly restrained. Violations are punishable by fines up to $179.
To help you and your loved ones stay safe this Thanksgiving holiday, GHSP recommends the following safety tips to drivers and passengers as they travel:
- Buckle up, every seat, every time, it’s the law;
- Don’t drink and drive;
- Make sure you have a sober designated driver;
- Obey the posted speed limit;
- Keep a safe following distance;
- Turn on your headlights during inclement weather; and
- Put away all distractions including cell phones.