Bogalusa police to join ‘Buckle Up’ campaign

Published 10:00 am Friday, April 22, 2022

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The Bogalusa Police Department will be participating in the “Buckle Up in Your Truck” seatbelt campaign during the period of April 23 through April 30. This is a grant sponsored by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

Law enforcement agencies across Louisiana will be on the lookout for pickup truck drivers and passengers who are not wearing their seatbelts, and those who are caught can receive a $50 ticket, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

“Buckle Up in Your Truck” is a data-driven law enforcement initiative focusing on pickup truck occupants who are not wearing a seat belt. The fine for not wearing a seat belt in Louisiana is $50, and subsequent offenses carry a $75 fine, plus court costs.

This enforcement initiative will take place April 23-30.

“We know that seat belts save lives, and we know that pickup truck occupants are less likely to wear seat belts,” LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. “Why would anyone risk their own safety and a $50 fine when wearing a seat belt can save your life, and it’s free?”

According to a 2019 LHSC seat belt survey of Louisiana drivers, only 82.3 percent of front-seat occupants of pickup trucks wear their seat belts, compared to 87.5 percent of all front-seat drivers and passengers. Only 62.2 percent of back-seat pickup truck passengers wear their seat belts.

Pickup trucks are more likely to roll over in a crash, making the occupants more likely to be seriously injured or killed. Wearing a seat belt “dramatically increases your chances of surviving a rollover crash,” Freeman said.

“Law enforcement officers can and will pull you over if you or any passenger is not wearing a seat belt — it is a primary offense,” she said. “And, the law applies to everyone, including those in the back seats.”

The Buckle Up in Your Truck enforcement wave will be in effect across Louisiana through Saturday, April 30. Most of the enforcement effort will be through regular police, deputy, and trooper patrols, but some law enforcement agencies may set up checkpoints to ensure compliance with the seat belt law.