Law enforcement will be out in full swing over the next couple of weeks during the annual Memorial Day Click It or Ticket campaign.
The campaign, from May 21 through June 3, coincides with one of the busiest holiday travel weekends of the year.
During the next couple weeks, law enforcement from around the state will be on the lookout for motorists who are not wearing seat belts. Motorists who are not properly belted will be cited by officers. Law enforcement will also monitor roadways for impaired drivers and motorists that exceed posted speed limits.
Last year in Wayne County during the campaign, there was one reported fatality that involved a person who was not wearing a seat belt.
N.C. Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. John Bobbitt said that Wayne County recently was over the 92 percent compliance rate for seat belt usage.
"The usage rate was so good that our district was not selected for special operation for seat belt enforcement," Bobbitt said. "That is offered by information obtained from the N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program."
Bobbitt said the goal is to reduce fatalities statewide. Crash awareness and crash reduction efforts will hopefully reduce the number of vehicle accidents and improve road safety, he said.
North Carolina law requires all passengers in a vehicle to be properly restrained. Violators can face fines as high as $179 for not wearing a seat belt, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
Children under the age of 8 must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall or more. If they are not properly restrained, the driver can face a $250 fine.
The Click It or Ticket campaign, which hit its 25th anniversary this year, started in May 1993. Prior to the program, 64 percent of North Carolinians wore seat belts. Today, 92 percent of drivers wear seat belts regularly, according to the DOT.
Wearing a seat belt can save a person from being ejected from a vehicle and can increase the chances of surviving an accident by 45 percent. Survival increases to 60 percent for pickup truck passengers.
The Governor's Highway Safety Program is designed to promote highway safety and awareness to reduce the number of traffic crashes and deaths.
Last year in Wayne County during the Click It or Ticket campaign, nine people were cited for driving while impaired, 11 for reckless driving, 100 people were cited for speeding and 178 people were cited for not wearing a seat belt.