WPSO receives $35K traffic safety grant

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal announced Tuesday the receipt of a $35,380 grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) for additional traffic safety enforcement in the parish.

The mission of LHSC is to work with local jurisdictions to reduce traffic crashes and resulting deaths, injuries and property damage. Driver factors such as drinking after driving, speeding and not using restraint devices contribute to some of the most severe traffic crashes which often result in fatalities.

A 2014 study of seat belt use showed Louisiana at 84.1 percent compliance, the state’s highest rate yet. This continued improvement correlates with Louisiana’s drop in highway fatalities. Almost 30 percent fewer lives were lost between 2007 and 2013.

“This is great news, but there is another issue we have to keep front and center,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “More than half of the drivers killed in Louisiana were not wearing seat belts. Seat belts save lives. It’s that simple.”

Louisiana has a primary seat belt law, which means officers can stop and ticket anyone they observe not wearing a seat belt.

“We don’t want to write tickets,” Seal said. “But we will if it means saving lives. If you see our deputies checking for seat belt compliance during the holiday season or any other time, it is for your safety. We want you to go home to your family at the end of the day.”