Seat belt safety campaign on-going

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According to a recent press release of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission seat belt enforcement is now a priority and Louisiana and federal traffic safety officials announced today that 127 law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement and awareness campaign. The May 21 to June 3 seat belt enforcement effort will be the largest of its kind ever conducted in Louisiana.

The campaign is ongoing and officers are ticketing this in many instances as a primary violation.

The participating law enforcement agencies received grants from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to conduct extra patrols during the Click It or Ticket campaign. The Commission’s grants pay for overtime to deputies, police officers and State Police troopers who conduct special patrols and checkpoints focused on seat belt usage, drunk driving and other violations. The focus will be on seat belt law compliance during Click It or Ticket.

“The first thing every driver or passenger should do when they get into a car is buckle up. There is no good reason not to – seat belts save thousands of lives and prevent countless injuries every year,” Strickland said. “Working closely with our safety partners, law enforcement and states like Louisiana, we hope to save lives and get more people to buckle up – Click it or Ticket.”

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said troopers will increase patrols that focus on seat belt violations during the Click It or Ticket campaign.

“One of the saddest duties performed by troopers is having to notify parents, spouses and other relatives that their loved one was killed in a crash,” Edmonson said. “That sadness is compounded when the trooper is aware that the victim might have been saved if he or she had been buckled up.”

Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, said the 127 law enforcement agencies participating in Click It or Ticket will use a variety of tactics designed to increase seat belt use. Besides increased enforcement, Click It or Ticket includes outreach through advertising and media announcements.

“During last year’s Click It or Ticket campaign, officers issued 13,254 seat belt citations. And our law enforcement partners issued a total of 71,069 seat belt tickets during all of 2011,” LeBlanc said. “This year, we have more than 100 law enforcement agencies participating in Click It or Ticket, meaning the number of citations will likely increase. We encourage everyone to follow the law and buckle up.”

It is important you be aware of this ongoing campaign in order to avoid being stopped and ticketed.

If you are stopped or ticketed, call the offices of Harmon, Smith and Vourvoulias, LLC for assistance. We have offices in New Orleans, on the North Shore and in St. Charles Parish.

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By George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile