State campaign exposes serious problem

Published 6:10 pm Thursday, July 10, 2014



The State Highway Patrol released its totals for the “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign to insure the safety of motorists and boaters on the road and on the water. And the numbers are shocking.

By scattering DUI checkpoints and strengthening law enforcement, the state came together to combat the impaired and negligent over Fourth of July weekend. As usual, the period between July 4 and July 6 produced numerous DUI and BUI infractions, a good amount of drug violations and 2,266 seatbelt and child restraint violations. Yes, that’s right, 2,266.

In terms of a specific violation, that number is second only to registration violations on the state’s list.

For years it’s been against the law to disregard wearing your seatbelt in a moving vehicle. Yet, a simple law that is easy to adhere to and proven to save lives, is being ignored by the masses in North Carolina, including here in Beaufort County.

Arguments have ranged from personal rights violations to laziness, but the fact remains. Buckling your seatbelt is easy and might come in handy down the road.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50 percent and adults living in rural areas are 10 percent less likely to click it.

Use common sense, forget about your rights, and make it a habit to strap on your seatbelt. Or, you could end up like the 2,266 people who had to pay a fine over the holiday weekend.