By LARISSA COPELAND
ATOKA - The Choctaw Nation Public Safety Department is once again joining up with its Southeastern Oklahoma Traffic Safety Coalition (SOTSC) partners for this year’s “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign.
The operation kicked off with a press event on May 14 at the Atoka High School, and was followed by a police checkpoint to ensure drivers and vehicle occupants were in compliance of the state’s seat belt laws. The checkpoint was operated by Choctaw Tribal officers and law enforcement agencies from Idabel, Hugo, Calera, and Atoka Police Departments, as well as the Atoka County Sheriffs Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Eight-hundred-forty-four vehicles passed through during the two-hour checkpoint, resulting in 25 citations and 47 warnings issued to the motorists. Additionally, officers also performed 11 child safety seat inspections and served six warrants.
The main push for “Click It or Ticket” will run from May 21-June 3. Officers will be out both day and night patrolling Oklahoma roadways and running checkpoints to crack down on seat belt violators.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts are the most effective vehicle safety feature ever invented, yet so many of those hitting the road still fail to buckle up regularly. The goal for this year’s “Click It or Ticket” blitz is to increase the seat belt use percentage of Oklahoma motorists and occupants to at least 90 percent.