VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Starting Monday, and continuing through Memorial Day, law enforcement across the state and all along the east coast was planning to crack down on seat belt violations.
"We've had an increase in the number of fatalities and many of those fatalities are due to the fact that drivers were not wearing their seat belts," Georgia GOHS Director Harris Blackwood pointed out at a press conference at the Georgia welcome center on I-75 near the Florida line Monday afternoon.
Continued Blackwood, "our indications are that as many as 62 percent of them have not been wearing their seat belts."
GSP Sgt. Duane Massey said it's frustrating that many people still don't wear seat belts despite law enforcement's continued efforts to emphasize the importance of wearing them.
"It's very hard on us. We know what we're doin' works. And, we know that if we can get people to change their minds, that's all it is, is a mindset, just change your mind and do what we're askin' you to do, it'll save your life," Sgt. Massey said.
Sgt. Massey noted that stepping up enforcement on the roads, like I-75, was becoming increasingly important, especially during busy travel periods like Memorial Day.
"People are not flying as much as they used to. They actually get in cars more," said Sgt. Massey.
So, the next time you get in a car, and every time after that, put your seat belt on. It could save your life, or at least prevent you from getting a ticket when you head off down the road, especially through Memorial Day.
Law enforcement planned to be at all state line welcome centers across Georgia from 6-10 p.m. Monday to watch for seat belt violations and to further emphasize the importance of wearing seat belts.
Director Blackwood said more seat belt fatalities happen at night than in the day.