JEFFERSON CITY — Law enforcement officers are cracking down on unbelted drivers from May 20 through June 2 for the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri's seat belt use remains relatively unchanged at 79 percent, below the national average of 86 percent.
Through this campaign the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety will remind Missourians to buckle up through state and national advertisements.
"Fifty-three percent of Missouri fatalities since the first of the year have been unbuckled vehicle occupants," said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
"Seat belts clearly save lives. But unfortunately, too many folks still need a tough reminder, so we will be out enforcing a zero tolerance on those not buckling up."
The release stated that in 2012, 394 people killed in traffic crashes were not wearing a safety belt. MoDOT also stated that seat belts can reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent when worn correctly.
"You are gambling with your life each time you drive without a safety belt," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.