Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Belt it, Minden

Local law enforcement is taking to the streets a national campaign for seat belt usage.

According to Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper, a highway safety grant for $5,000 will allow him to have extra officers on the street between now and June 3 for "Click It or Ticket," a campaign encouraging people to observe the law that says they must buckle up.

"The grant allows us to have two officers a day, every day, working four-hour increments strictly targeting people who aren't wearing their seat belts or children that aren't in safety restraints," Cropper said.

Starting today, the extra officers will be patrolling, and Cropper said they will be watching specifically for violators.

"If you know what you're looking for, it's not hard to tell if someone's wearing a seat belt," he said. "Most of them, you can see the strap across the shoulder. You can get a good view of the driver passing."

According to Highway Safety Research & Communications, there are mandatory safety belt laws in all states except New Hampshire.

In some states, these laws cover front-seat occupants only, but belt laws in 26 states, including Louisiana and the District of Columbia cover all rear-seat occupants, too.

Belt use laws in 32 states, also including Louisiana and the District of Columbia, are primary, meaning police may stop vehicles solely for belt law violations. Louisiana has had this law in place since 1995.

Covered are 13-plus years in all seats, younger than one year or less than 20 pounds in a child safety seat, one through three years or 20-39 pounds in a forward-facing child safety seat four through five years or 40-60 pounds in a child booster seat, six through 12 years or greater than 60 pounds.

Maximum fine for first violation is $25.






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