May 18, 2003
As local law officers begin a new campaign this week to focus attention on the safety value of seat belts, here is a word of caution to area drivers: Buckle up.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie told the Kiwanis Club of Meridian that local law enforcement agencies will be very serious about seat belt use during the last two weeks in May. Roadside safety checks throughout the county will be part of a program called, "Buckle Up Mississippi, It's The Law And It's Enforced."
Locally, there's another good reason. Lauderdale County was ranked among the top 10 counties of Mississippi with the highest fatality rate from motor vehicle accidents last year with nine fatal automobile accidents. Of the nine, seven drivers were impaired, and speeding was a factor in many of the deaths.
For the next couple of weeks, there's an added bonus for motorists who are wearing their seat belts and have all other driving requirements in order, such as a valid licenses and tags. They may receive a complimentary T-shirt or coffee mug to help publicize the need to buckle up.
So when you're driving around the county and you spot a roadside safety check, don't turn around. Head on up to where the officers are standing, show them you're wearing your seat belt and that children are properly restrained.
It's the right thing to do.