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Patrol looking for seat belt violators in effort to reduce Port St. Lucie injury accidents this Thanksgiving

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is urging motorists to buckle up through the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to reduce the risk of Port St. Lucie car accidents and traffic accidents elsewhere in South Florida.

This week and through the weekend, troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol will join law enforcement throughout the state in the “Click it or Ticket” campaign, aimed at unbelted motorists and their passengers.

“Our message is simple. If you fail to buckle up, then expect a ticket,” said Major Timothy Ashley, commander of FHP’s Troop H. “The hard working men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol will be diligent in enforcing our safety belt law. Our state troopers are committed to making a difference through education and enforcement.”

Florida law requires all front-seat passengers to use seat belts. Occupants under the age of 18 are required to buckle up regardless of where they sit in a vehicle. Violations will result in a $30 fine plus court costs.

Seat belt usage reached record highs this year, at 87.4 percent. However, males were more likely to be unbuckled than females, and passengers remain less likely than drivers to use seat belts.

Last year, the state reported 2,563 traffic fatalities, down nearly 14 percent from 2008. However, only California and Texas report more traffic deaths each year than Florida.

“While multiple factors influence the numbers, the declining trends are a testament to the emphasis that law enforcement agencies, safety advocates and businesses have placed on saving lives on our roadways,” said DHSMV Executive Director Julie Jones. “DHSMV will continue to work with our safety partners to add to the momentum we have gained in recent years so that we continue to see crashes, deaths and injuries decline in years to come.”

Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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