If you’re careless about wearing your seat belt in the car, you might want to change your ways during Thanksgiving.
The Temple Terrace Police Department is working with law enforcement agencies across the state to strongly enforce Florida seat belt laws during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a City of Temple Terrace press release.
Police are especially concerned about seat belt use during Thanksgiving because this period is one of the busiest travel times of the year, the release states.
During Thanksgiving in 2010 (6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24 to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 29) 337 vehicle occupants were killed in traffic crashes nationwide, and 55 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, the release states.
“Too many people are not getting the message, so we’ll be out in force during this long travel weekend with a simple goal—to strictly enforce the law in order to save more lives,” said Capt. Mike Pridemore of the Temple Terrace Police Department in the release. “It’s a simple step that each of us can take to protect ourselves and our loved ones, but it’s often forgotten during the hustle and bustle of holiday travel.”
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In 2010, Pridemore noted in the release, 61 percent of the 10,647 vehicle occupants who were killed nationally in traffic crashes during overnight hours (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, he said, nighttime fatalities involving unbelted passengers rose to 64 percent.
“Throughout the year, but especially during busy travel times like Thanksgiving, we will be cracking down on those who don’t buckle up,” Pridemore said in the release. “Click it, or ticket.”