FPD conducts seatbelt check

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Franklinton Police Department conducted a seatbelt checkpoint Thursday, and Capt. Randall Penton reports that the vast majority of drivers were found to be in compliance.

The eight-hour event, Penton said, was a standard seatbelt check. And Franklinton residents can expect to see more of them throughout the year, as the department has received a federal grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the purpose of conducting checkpoints.

Penton said only 15 seatbelt violations were issued during Thursday’s checkpoint. He said that that fits in with the pattern being seen by agencies as a whole, demonstrating that officers’ continued efforts of enforcing seatbelt use are working.

“People are getting the message that they need to wear their safety belts,” he said.

Data from the NHTSA shows that a seatbelt can save an occupant’s life if he or she is involved in a car crash.

“In 2012 seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 lives nationwide,” a press release from the agency stated. “An additional 3,031 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had been properly restrained.”

With school resuming this week across the parish, Penton asks parents to remind their children about the importance of seatbelt use.

Teens who will be driving to school are urged to buckle up every time they get into their vehicle, and Penton reminds parents that younger kids should be properly restrained with a seatbelt, car seat or booster seat, depending on their age.

He also reiterated that the department will conduct additional seatbelt checks this year.

“We will be doing more of these checkpoints, including in school zones,” he said.