101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

Buckle up this Thanksgiving holiday

Buckle up to save your life when traveling for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest travel times of the year.

The Bella Vista Police Department is joining Arkansas law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s national high-visibility enforcement to remind those in vehicles: Buckle up. Every trip. Every time.

Increased enforcement started Monday, Nov. 21. Drivers should expect to see increased enforcement of traffic and vehicle safety, including extra patrols on the lookout for those not wearing seatbelts and safety checkpoints.

In 2020, there were more than 23,000 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. More than half of those deaths, 51 percent, were those who were killed because they were not wearing a seatbelt. Fifty-nine percent of those who were killed while riding in the backseat were unrestrained.

Arkansas law requires all front seat passengers to be buckled properly. Children less than 15 years of age should also be properly secured in the vehicle, no matter where they are sitting. Smaller children – less than 6 years old or less than 60 pounds – should be restrained properly in a child safety seat. All passengers in a vehicle must be buckled if the driver has a restricted license.

Wearing your seatbelt properly can also help save your life. Place the shoulder strap across the chest and shoulder with as little slack as possible, and never under an arm or behind the back.

Remember to buckle up when getting into your vehicle, to ensure you make it safely home. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. If you have any questions about this enforcement, call the Police Department at 479-855-3771.