Miss. enforcing seat belt campaign over Memorial Day weekend - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Miss. enforcing seat belt campaign over Memorial Day weekend

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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DESOTO COUNTY. Miss. (FOX13) - With Memorial Day weekend upon us law enforcement agencies across Mississippi stepping up their "Click It Or Ticket" campaign as seat belt usage has declined sharply in the last year.

Statewide if everyone in Mississippi buckled up traffic fatalities could drop by 60 percent.

In a dramatic demonstration, the Mississippi Highway patrol used a rollover simulator to show what happens if you aren't buckled up and your vehicle rolls over.

"Last year we had over 613 fatals on record for 2013 and over 60 percent of those fatals were not buckled in," said Robert Hancock with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Hancock said DeSoto County has one of the highest rates of roadway deaths in the Magnolia State. Stats show that those numbers would be more than cut in half if drivers simply buckled up.

"If they made some of the scenes we made they would realize a seat belt could prevent some of the tragedy that happened," said DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco.

Seat belt usage has dropped nine percent in one year in Mississippi. One of the problems with not buckling up, during a wreck if you are unbuckled you could become a threat to other people in the vehicle.

"That person could act as a missile and go toward the other people in the car," Hancock said.

"To be honest with you it is a selfish act to put yourself in a vehicle and drive without a seat belt, you are affecting other people's lives," said MHP Corporal Joey Miller.

Among those speaking in support of the "Click It Or Ticket" campaign is Cassandra Reed, whose daughter Acasia was killed in an automobile accident in Mississippi in  2012. Acasia was traveling 30 miles per hour when she was killed.

"She would have been a senior," Reed said. "she would have been graduating (Friday) from Warren Central High School. So instead of a graduation I am on this campaign trail to let folks know that I won't be attending her graduation because she was not wearing her seat belt."

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