Don’t get ticketed in seat belt crackdown
And that means you, bucko.
Louisiana's annual seat-belt safety campaign, called “Click It or Ticket," is heavily advertised statewide.
And, from a lawman’s point of view, the promotion serves as “fair warning” that patrolmen are going to strictly enforce the state’s seat belt law for the next two months.
“One in four Louisiana drivers doesn't wear a seat belt,” retired lawman Col. James Champagne, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, told the Herald-Guide exclusively.
“The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is one of the agencies in the state taking part in the campaign to support us in correcting this problem.”
Champagne said Louisiana ranks dead last in the nation when it comes to motorists wearing their seat belts.
“Before hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated our area, those numbers were improving,” he said.
“But in the last two years, the numbers have been going down.
“After the hurricanes, people were more concerned about situations resulting from the aftermath of the storms, like where to eat, sleep, live and work.
"Seat belt safety wasn’t a priority for anyone. And the numbers are still edging down.”
Studies show that injuries and deaths from accidents in which drivers or their passengers weren’t wearing seat belts cost Louisiana a staggering $6 billion a year.
“Simply fastening your seat belt can cut your risk of serious injury or death in half,” Champagne said.
Citations for not wearing seat belts cost drivers $25.
Champagne said the fine is peanuts compared to what some states charge. He’d like to see Louisiana “up the ante.”
“This is a small amount of money,” he said. “If the fines were increased, citizens would take the seat belt law more seriously.
“I've actually seen drivers get a ticket and then drive off without putting their seat belt on: $25 just doesn’t mean that much to them.”
But Champagne warned that drivers will be ticketed “multiple times” if they are caught violating the law more than once - even during the same stop.
In other words, if you get a ticket for driving without you seat belt, don’t drive away in a huff without buckling up.
Otherwise, you’ll get another ticket, he said, adding: “Our police officers are committed to this program.”
Louisiana is one of 25 states in the nation with a primary seat belt law. That means police can stop you solely for not wearing a seat belt.
Questions? Comments? Write to Shonna Riggs at email@example.com
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
The case against a 21-year-old Reserve man accused of trying to kidnap a Hahnville...
Self-powering elevators, solar-powered water heaters and regenerative pool filters...
As it prepares to celebrate 10 years, it’s easy to forget that the Satellite Center...
The Destrehan Wildcats are on a roll after beating South Lafourche, H.L. Bourgeois...
The falling price of oil has resulted in low prices at the pump—in some cases, less...
Three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of thousands of...
Spring is here and we are ready to offer St. Charles Parish complete landscape design installation & maintenance! Our full service garden center has a licensed Landscape Horticulturalist and knowledgeable staff to serve you.
Luling singer eagerly awaits national debut on ‘American Idol’ - 3740 views
St. Charles Parish residents might see a familiar face while tuning in to Thursday’s New Orleans round of popular singing competition “American Idol.”