Biloxi School Gets A Lesson On Operation Click It Or Ticket

They represent more than eight percent of Mississippi's population. We're talking about teen drivers. And like any other driver, law enforcement officers are making sure these teens follow the rules.

"Click it or ticket" is a familiar phrase, but some local leaders want to make sure teen drivers are catching on.

"We are doing a safety belt check, reminding the kids as they leave school to buckle up, stay safe on the highways and on the streets," says Paul Cannette, director of security with Biloxi Schools.

"We have formed our own campus police department. We start at the high school naturally that's where all the kids that drive go. We figured we would start here and educate as many of them as we could," says Cannett.

A lesson sisters Elizabeth and Alex Ware say starts at home.

"It's kind of been trained into us," says Elizabeth.

"Our parents always taught us to buckle up whenever we got into the car so we always have," says Alex.

While these girls may follow the rules. Others admit they aren't always so careful. However, these students know that the price of not wearing a seat belt could cost them more than just a few dollars. They could take someone's life or end up in jail.

"As an adult you've been taught most of your life to buckle up and stay safe. These children need the same direction and the same guidance from us," says Cannett.

According to recent report from the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety, young drivers ages 16 to 20 represent nearly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 79 percent were not using seat belts.

"Your typical teenage drivers. They are gonna drive and they are going to learn as everyone does. But the more you educate them, the more you help them out, the more you decrease their chance of getting in an accident and killed in a car wreck," Cannett said.

Biloxi Public Schools and the Biloxi Police Department formed the campus police in December of last year. Paul Cannett says that they plan to hire more officers in the future.