Tenn. law enforcement agencies are cracking down on people not b

Tenn. law enforcement agencies are cracking down on people not buckling up

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THP says when you buckle up, you reduce your change of death or serious injury in a crash by 80 percent, but you must be wearing your seat belt properly across your chest and over your lap. THP says when you buckle up, you reduce your change of death or serious injury in a crash by 80 percent, but you must be wearing your seat belt properly across your chest and over your lap.
6 News rode along with THP Trooper Jerry Watson 6 News rode along with THP Trooper Jerry Watson
After only spending 10 minutes driving on I-40, Trooper Watson found two people not buckled up. After only spending 10 minutes driving on I-40, Trooper Watson found two people not buckled up.
By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Law enforcement officials are cracking down on drivers and their passengers not buckling up. Monday through June 1, the Tennessee Highway Patrol is taking part in the “Click It or Ticket” campaign. If you fail to buckle up or do so improperly, you may get a ticket.

THP says when you buckle up, you reduce your change of death or serious injury in a crash by 80 percent, but you must be wearing your seat belt properly across your chest and over your lap.

Casey Helfenberger gives credit to a seat belt for saving his life.

“I was going down the road, it had just rained I went around a corner and slid and hit a tree,” said Helfenberger.

Since the accident, he's made sure to buckle up every time he's in a car.

“I think it's very important. It saved my life so it should be one of the things you should do,” said Helfenberger.

Not every driver feels as strongly. Buzz Gordon says he only buckles up sometimes, when he remembers to do so.

“It's a matter of habit not putting it on but honestly I think it should be a choice. Up to a person if they want to cool, if they don’t then they don't,” said Gordon.

6 News rode along with THP Trooper Jerry Watson. After only spending 10 minutes driving on I-40, he found two people not buckled up.

“It's very tragic. Something as simple as taking five seconds to put a seat belt on. It will keep them in the vehicle, keep the vehicle from rolling over on them, maybe keep them from being thrown out into traffic,” said Trooper Watson.

The driver and passenger were given a ticket. The citation is $10 for the first offense. $20 for the second offense. He says 85 percent of drivers do obey the seat belt law but the campaign cracking down on those not buckling up is important to save lives in crashes.

“We just want people to realize that how much your life can change in just a few seconds and how much a seatbelt can make a difference,” said Trooper Watson.

According to THP. everyone 17 years old and under in the car must be buckled up. If you are 18 or older, the driver and passenger in the front seats must be buckled up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many drivers say they aren't buckled up because they aren't traveling far but statistics show most fatal crashes happen within 25 miles from home and at speeds of less than 40 mph.

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