Moss Point Police Crack Down On Seat Belt Violators

Moss Point Police have zero tolerance for people who chose not to buckle up.

"We are conducting a seat belt safety checkpoint. You, sir, where driving without your seat belt," Moss Point Officer Colin Stevenson told a driver Friday morning.

"We have been at this particular check point area for less than a hour. I would say we have written over 30 citations at this time," Chief Demetrius Drakeford said.

In 2006, not buckling up became a primary offense. That means even if you're following all the other rules of the road, but aren't wearing your seat belt, officers have the right to pull you over.

Still, some people tried to get out of the hot seat at Friday's checkpoint.

"I had mine off back there because I was just getting my wallet out," one driver said.

Officer Stevenson says he's heard every excuse in the book for not wearing a seatbelt.

"Some of them are, 'I took it off to see what was going on. I had it on, sir.' And others are, 'I just don't wear them.' Take the extra twp seconds out of your lives to guarantee your safety," Stevenson said.

According to national statistics, more than 48 million people do not put on their seatbelts while in a vehicle. Moss Point Police hope their presence will encourage more people to buckle up.

"Drivers who are not wearing their seat belts are more likely to sustain injuries, if not a fatality," Stevenson said.

"We are trying to lead by example and show them we are interested in their safety," Drakeford said.

Chief Drakeford says officers will be out more often ticketing drivers who choose not to wear a seatbelt.

"Once they see the people are out in full force and we are looking for the violations, they will rather not take the risk of getting a citation that will cost them. "

Mississippi's seat belt law carries a maximum fine of $25 per vehicle.