Local law enforcement campaign for seat belt safety

JACKSON, Tenn. —  SAFE, which stands for “Seatbelts Are For Everyone,” is something the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Safety Office are campaigning for together.

“The SAFE program is designed to increase safe belt usage and awareness through the state of Tennessee,” said Sgt. Richard King of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “This is an enforcement campaign when we’re actually out looking for people not using their seat belt and citing them for the offense.”

It was designed to increase seat belt usage and child safety restraint usage.

“My biggest concern personally about seat belt safety is everybody using them, especially children,” Sgt. King said. “I’ve seen countless kids not being restrained properly.”

During the campaign, check-points will be set up to watch for anyone who isn’t properly secured when driving. According to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, the average statewide seat belt usage rate last year was over 88 percent.

“We do surveys at intersections prior to the campaign and after the campaign, and during those surveys we’re looking and counting cars,” Sgt. King said.

How often do you like to wear your seat belt? According to Sgt. King, at least 90 percent of West Tennesseans have been found to have been wearing their seat belts.

“Makes me feel good that people are actually taking the time to put their seat belts on and taking their safety in their own hands,” Sgt. King said.

He says it can mean the difference between life and death.

“I’ve worked countless wrecks where if people would have had their seat belts on, they might have survived the wreck,” Sgt. King said.

The SAFE Campaign started the beginning of this month and lasts through August 1.

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