Houston Police Department will participate in two enforcement campaigns in March.

The HPD will join in on a statewide campaign March 15-31 for a high visibility youth seat belt mobilization to help increase seat belt use among teens and reduce highway fatalities.

Only 74 percent of Missouri teens wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Seven out of 10 teen vehicle drivers and passengers killed in traffic crashes are unbuckled.

Under the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) law, teens are required to wear a seat belt, as it’s a primary offense, meaning they can be pulled over solely for not being buckled in.

“Local motorists should be prepared for stepped up seat belt enforcement,” said HPD Chief Tim Ceplina. “We’ll be out there to remind you seat belts can – and do – save lives.”

Seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.



HPD officers will also be active on roadways this weekend during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (primarily from 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16, to 5:59 a.m. Monday, March 18).

Statistics show that March 17 (the annual date for St. Paddy’s Day) has become a dangerous day on U.S. roads. According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, more than one-third (37-percent) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. “St. Patrick’s Day should be a fun holiday for our community members, but we expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions,” Ceplina said. “Whether you’re driving yourself or your friends, make sure you stay sober or plan for a sober ride home. Remember: It’s not just about you. There are other people on the roads who want to get where they are going safely. Don’t let alcohol cause you to be a risk to yourself and others on the road. Drinking and driving is an act of selfishness.”

For more information, log onto www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov. 

For information on Missouri seatbelt usage, visit www.saveMOlives.com.

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