NOPD Reminds Travelers To ‘Click It Or Ticket’ This Holiday Weekend

NEW ORLEANS – Memorial Day Weekend serves as the unofficial start of summer for many Americans, and the NOPD is reminding New Orleanians to be safe in their summer travels and to remember to wear their seatbelts.

         NOPD will show zero tolerance for drivers and passengers who are not wearing seatbelts, reps said.

         “As the Memorial Day weekend approaches and the summer vacation season ramps up, we want to keep our community members safe and make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash and that’s buckling up,” said Lt. Anthony Micheu, commander of the NOPD Traffic Unit.

         NOPD is part of the national Click It or Ticket campaign that’s designed to help enforce seat belt use. The Click It or Ticket initiative runs through June 4, which includes Memorial Day Weekend, one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.

         “Our law enforcement personnel see firsthand the loss of life when people refuse to buckle up,” added Micheu. “It’s such a simple thing – it should be an automatic ‘first step’ after sitting down in a vehicle.”

         In 2015, 52 percent of males killed in crashes were unrestrained, and 42 percent of females killed in crashes were not buckled up.

         One focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained. Between 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m., the number of people killed number increased to 57 percent.

         “Seat belts save lives and everyone – front and back seat, children and adults – need to remember to buckle up every trip, every time,” said Micheu.

         NOPD and other area law enforcement agencies are taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement. In Louisiana the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $45.

         “In 2015, we lost 19 community members because they did not buckle their seat belts,” said Micheu.” If our enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving and gets them to buckle up, we’ll consider it a success.”

         In addition to seatbelt enforcement, NOPD receives a grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) to administer DUI checkpoints and other Impaired driving countermeasures. LHSC administers the state's highway safety grant program, which is designed to reduce traffic crashes and the resulting deaths, injuries and property damage. Programs and projects are administered in accordance with uniform guidelines promulgated by the NHTSA and FHWA.

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