Law enforcement agencies across state take extra precautions for holiday travel

Law enforcement agencies in the Pine Belt are participating in a national campaign to promote...
Law enforcement agencies in the Pine Belt are participating in a national campaign to promote seatbelt use.(Source: WDAM)
Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 8:48 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Many law enforcement agencies across Mississippi are taking extra precautions this Memorial Day to keep travelers safe on roads.

The National Highway Traffic Administration says in 2019, 9,466 unbuckled people were killed in crashes in the United States.

Now, several Pine Belt law enforcement agencies are taking part in “Click It Or Ticket,” a national campaign to remind people of the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

The Laurel Police Department is one of the local agencies participating. Chief Tommy Cox stresses the importance of driving safe and sober.

“If you’re hosting a barbecue or a party, take it upon yourself to make sure there’s a designated driver,” Cox said. “We’re not against people having fun, but we don’t want them to injure themselves or injure someone else. Because I promise you if you run over somebody, it’s going to affect you the rest of your life. Take that little bit of time to take the precautions so everybody gets to enjoy their weekend together.”

The Columbia Police Department is also participating and has increased staffing, traffic enforcement and checkpoints.

“There’s a lot of families with children on the roads,” said Cpl. Jeff Stamps, a DUI/ traffic enforcement officer with CPD. “Make sure you’ve got your seatbelts, make sure those infants are in their child restraint seat.”

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is taking some of those precautions too. According to officials with Troop J, the increase in checkpoints is to ensure everyone’s safety.

“I mean these checkpoints, they consist of everything... making sure someone has a valid license, that everyone’s buckled up,” said Sgt. Travis Luck, MHP Troop J public affairs officer. “You know, most importantly, if children if they’re all using perfect restraints.”

The national Click It Or Ticket campaign runs through June 6.

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