“There’s a double benefit to wearing a seat belt – it’s also the best way to prevent you from getting seriously injured or killed if you’re in a crash,” explained Lisa Freeman, Executive Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. “Our mission is saving lives, but we’ve found that for some people, it takes the threat of a ticket to get them to buckle up.”
Across Louisiana, law enforcement agencies are putting extra patrols on the road during holiday travel, when traffic usually is higher. Troopers, deputies, and police officers have been trained to spot anyone not wearing a seat belt, and they are giving out tickets.
Louisiana law says all drivers and passengers in a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt, and children must be in an age- and size-appropriate safety seat. A first-time offender can be fined $50 for a violation.
“It’s clear that seat belts save lives,” Freeman said. “Wearing a seat belt greatly reduces your chance of suffering a serious or fatal injury in the event of a crash, so it makes sense to buckle up every trip, every seat, every time. If it takes a $50 ticket to get that point across, it’s worth it to keep people safe.”