Harrison County Deputies Want A Safe Holiday For Motorists - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

OFFICERS SET UP CHECK POINTS

Harrison County Deputies Want A Safe Holiday For Motorists

The Harrison County Sheriff's Department is gearing up early for extra holiday traffic.

The National Safety Council predicts that more people will choose to travel the highways rather than the runways during the Thanksgiving holiday. And more traffic means a greater risk for drivers.

On Saturday deputies set up a road block in D'Iberville to check for safety violations. It was just one of several road blocks motorists in Harrison County can expect between now and Thanksgiving weekend. The Sheriff's Department is taking part in a national campaign to crack down on drunk drivers and people who don't use their seat belts.

"I think it's great. I'm a firm believer in seat belts, and I think everybody should wear them," D'Iberville resident Paul Grote said.

Drivers caught with violations were given tickets, but fortunately for people like Danny Gollot whose daughter was not buckled up, the tickets were only warnings.

"She was sleeping and we was in a hurry. So we just put her in the car and let her lay down," Gollot said. "Next time I'll hook her up anyway."

Experts were also teaching people how to wear seat belts the right way. A study done last year by a state agency says 94 percent of Mississippi's children are not properly strapped in.

Paula Routland of Biloxi brought her grandson Adrian.

"You read the directions but they're kind of written in a foreign language," Routland said. "They're hard to understand and you want to make sure your kids are safe, and if you're putting them in a car seat, that's the point so you want to make sure you're doing the right thing."

Deputies hope information will make people more aware of their driving habits.

"If we can raise awareness and make sure that our citizens are buckling up and their kids are in child restraint seats, then we are gonna save lives, and we are saving people from being seriously injured," Sheriff's Deputy Windy Swetman III said.

Officials from Mississippi Safe Kids say one common mistake parents make is putting children in adult safety restraints too early. If the belt doesn't hit the child in the hips and in the center of the chest and shoulders, then they say the child still needs a booster for the seat belt to fit correctly.

By Danielle Thomas

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