Bulletin Staff Report

Brownwood police, Early police and Brown County Sheriff’s officials are among agencies nationwide participating in the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period of May 21-June 3.

Stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted during the enforcement.

The Texas Department of Transportation offers a traffic safety grant to fund overtime and vehicle costs for additional patrols to enforce seat belt laws.

“Seat belts clearly save lives,” a release from the sheriff’s office said. “But unfortunately, too many folks still need a tough reminder, so we are going to be out in force buckling down on those who are not buckled up.

“Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing, but the cost for not wearing it certainly will. So unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse — your life — please remember to buckle up day and night.”

In 2005, 77 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were buckled up in a serious crash survived, the release said. Nationwide, nearly one in five Americans do not regularly wear seat belts.

Early police are also participating in an educational campaign to convince pickup truck occupants in Texas, the Indian Nations and other states to wear seat belts. More than 1 million pickup drivers and passengers in a five-state region are still not buckling up, resulting in 1,000 accident fatalities a year, a release said. In 2005, 54 percent of people killed in pickup accidents were not wearing seat belts.