Holiday campaign targets seat belt use

Published 5:41 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A lot of area residents may have gotten to know their local lawenforcement officers a little better this weekend during theMemorial Day safety campaign.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt.Rusty Boyd said Troop M issued a total of 1,235 tickets overallduring the weekend.

The “Click it or Ticket” campaign is going on through June 6,Boyd said. A total of 186 of the tickets written by troopers overthe holiday weekend were seat belt and child restraintcitations.

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“We thought it went pretty good, we worked but overall it was apretty uneventful holiday,” Boyd said. “There was only one fatalityfor the state.”

In addition, Troop M logged 25 citations for driving under theinfluence, as did Troop D, which was just behind Troops E and F,which both had 27. There were six drug arrests and two felonyarrests in the district as well.

Boyd said the fact that people were safe on the roadways for themost part is something law enforcement officials are gratefulfor.

“It’s the luck of the draw, we were blessed,” he said. “It justworked out to our advantage this time.”

There were 17 total collisions on Troop M highways during theweekend, with nine injuries and no fatalities, Boyd said. None ofthe accidents appeared to be alcohol-related.

In spite of the fact that the holiday is over, the full-courtpress on seat belts is not over just yet, Boyd said. And there’salways a good reason to wear a seat belt.

“It’ll keep you from dying or lessen the severity of yourinjuries if you have an accident,” he said. “And it could save yousome money.”

Meanwhile, Brookhaven Police Department and the Lincoln CountySheriff’s Department also were out in force over the holiday.Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said he told his officers tospecifically be on the lookout for seat belts.

“I have to look at the stats on that, but I know they did a goodjob of what I wanted them to do,” he said. “This weekend wentreally good. We did a lot of good things this weekend.”

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said he had extra deputieson the road Friday and Saturday nights.

“It was basic normal weekend traffic,” Rushing said. “It was asafe weekend with no fatalities and no major accidents toreport.”

County officials were checking for seat belts as well, andRushing said people seemed to have gotten the message, for theweekend anyway.

“The majority of folks that came through the roadblocks that Iwas at were wearing them,” he said. “I’m glad people were consciousof that.”