Bossier City police took to the streets of central Bossier City Monday afternoon to help motorists realize the importance of wearing a seat belt.
Officer Mark Natale noted, "It's not just writing people tickets and having them pay fines. It's to get the message out that fastening your seat belt is the law and also saves lives."
Saving people's lives is the goal of the Bossier City Police Department with these safety checkpoints as they remind motorists why they should wear their seat belts. The effort to enforce this law stems from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. The seat belt element is one of three law enforcement areas, which are part of the grant from the commission that the police department gets every year. The other two elements included in the grant are speeding and DWI enforcement.
According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to car occupants by forty-five percent, and the risk of moderate to critical injuries decreases by fifty percent.
Monday's safety checkpoint is not the first time Bossier City has operated this type of enforcement. Officer Mark Natale said that they have done many of these types of checkpoints each year for several previous years.
The BCPD believes that people in Northwest Louisiana, particularly Bossier City, are getting the message that buckling up and having children properly restrained is the right thing to do. Although, they noted that, unfortunately, there are still people who drive through the checkpoints without wearing their seat belts. As a result, these motorists get a citation.
Under Louisiana law, fines for not wearing a seat belt are: $25 plus court costs for the first offense and $50 plus court costs for second and any subsequent offense. Fines for violating child safety restraint laws vary from $100 for the first offense up to $500 for third and any subsequent offense. Violators must also pay court costs.
While not wearing a seat belt could result in a pricey citation, the bigger lesson that Bossier City Police hope motorists will learn is that not being properly restrained could cause a far more devastating tragedy.
This morning, the Bossier City Police Department posted the results of the safety checkpoint that took place in the 2200 block of Shed Road on Monday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. According to a BCPD news release, officers checked a total of 432 vehicles and issued 24 citations for no seat belts and 12 citations to drivers who did not have children passengers properly restrained in a child safety seat.
Officers also wrote 17 citations for other various non-moving violations.