Nov. 17, 2022 - Law enforcement officers across Louisiana will hand out tickets to motor vehicle drivers and passengers who are not wearing their seat belts during the 2022 Thanksgiving holidays, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission announced.

“The ‘Click it or Ticket’ state enforcement campaign is solely an effort to keep drivers and passengers from being injured or killed in a car crash,” LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. The campaign begins on Saturday, November 19, and ends Sunday, November 27.

“In 2021, 18 people were killed on Louisiana roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday, which was the second deadliest holiday period that year,” Freeman said. “We want to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families and loved ones each and every year.”

According to 2021 data from the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety at LSU, in fatal crashes where seat belt use is known, 59 percent of drivers were not wearing a seat belt. The same statistics also show that 64 percent of passengers ages 6 and older who were killed were not properly restrained.

LHSC’s 2022 Louisiana Seat Belt Observation Survey shows that 86.1 percent of vehicle occupants wear their seat belts, compared to the national rate of 90.4 percent. For pickup truck drivers in Louisiana, the seat belt rate is even lower and is reported as less than 81 percent.

Law enforcement officers have been trained to spot people not wearing a seat belt. Louisiana law states that everyone in a vehicle – including back-seat occupants – must wear a seat belt or face a fine. A first-offense ticket for not wearing a seat belt law is $50; subsequent tickets are $75 each.

“Our goal is not to hand out tickets; our goal is to save lives,” Freeman said. “Lives are priceless, and if it takes a ticket to save even one life, then ‘Click it or Ticket’ has accomplished its public safety purpose.”

You can watch a video about the 2022 Louisiana Seat Belt Observation Study on the LHSC Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.