JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Starting tomorrow, many police departments across the nation will increase their crack down on motorists not wearing buckling up including right here in South Mississippi.
It's all part of the annual Click it or Ticket Enforcement Campaign, which promotes the message that seat belts save lives.
"Every child, every person, baby or whatever should put their seat belt on," said Driver Shirley James.
Jackson County Resident Shirley James says the number one rule for traveling with her is you have to buckle up.
"I love to put my seat belt on, and I know it is safe and you never know what is going to happen. With my seat belt on, my head won't pop here and at least my seat belt will hold me in place."
Police say unfortunately, some people have made a habit out of not wearing a safety belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the more than 21,000 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. That saddens drivers like Ralph Willis.
"I had a niece to get killed like that and that is why I buckle up. I don't care if I am just backing out the driveway to go to the store and comeback; I am going to wear my seat belt," said Willis.
With Memorial Day right around the corner, and more families hitting the road for some summer time fun, Pascagoula Police officer Doug Adams said law enforcement will be stepping up its effort to catch people who don't buckle up.
"This time of year as you know we have a national Click it or Ticket it Campaign here in Mississippi and across the coast. The campaign last a little over two weeks, so basically to June 1st. We will be out every day of the week working seat belt primarily," said Lt. Adams.
Adams said expect to pay up if you are issued a ticket.
"Monetarily, a seat belt ticket will cost you $25.00. If your children are unrestrained is $160 something, but the big thing is it saves lives. Like last Sunday, we had a man run off the road over by the West River Bridge and hit a tree, but had very little injury and not wearing the seat belt is severe injury and possibly your life," Adams said.
The campaign runs from May 18th to 31st.