Extra Law Enforcement Patrols Over Memorial Day Weekend -Targeting Seat Belt Use
All law enforcement agencies will be out in force over the Memorial Day Weekend making sure western Montana drivers are buckled in and sober.
Traffic Coordinator with the Missoula Police Department Sergeant Greg Amundsen, said the extra patrols are already underway.
"We've actually already started our patrols," Amundsen said. "You're going to see extra officers out on the street, and what we're specifically looking for is people who are not wearing seat belts," Amundsen said. "It is a secondary violation, so we can't pull you over just for that, but if you are pulled over for something else and you're not wearing a seat belt, you will be cited."
Amundsen said seat belts are not only important for personal safety within the vehicle, but for others' safety, as well.
"If you're not wearing a seat belt, not only is there a good chance you'll be ejected from the vehicle or seriously injured, but you could also become kind of a human projectile or a human missile inside your car and you could actually crush someone in your car in a serious crash, especially if you're in a rollover, and your body is just bouncing around inside the car."
Amundsen said all children must be buckled in, by state law.
"Under six or under 60 pounds, it's actually a primary violation if wee see a child standing on a seat or clearly is not buckled in, we can actually stop you for that," he said.
Statistics say that between 80 and 90 percent of traffic fatalities in Montana could be prevented if everyone would simply buckle up.
Amundsen said there is a no tolerance policy for drinking and driving. If you are driving drunk or impaired, you will go to jail for the weekend.
The Montana Highway Patrol will have their Special Enforcement Team in western Montana over the Memorial Day weekend, as well.