Central Arkansas Operation Impact Traffic Enforcement Group-May Initiative

CentralARImpactPicDuring the month of May member agencies of the Central Arkansas Operation Impact Traffic Enforcement Group will conduct a month long traffic initiative in conjunction with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s, NHTSA, campaigns focusing on seatbelt enforcement and motorcycle safety enforcement.
Based on information from NHTSA, May is a very effective time to ramp up seat belt enforcement and motorcycle safety enforcement efforts. Many motorists and motorcyclists travel over Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the busy summer travel season.
According to statistics from NHTSA, young adults in particular seem to think they are invincible in vehicles. Unfortunately, they are dying at a disproportionate rate because they are not wearing their seat belts. Almost twice as many men are dying in vehicle crashes compared to women, and wearing their seat belts less than women. Pickup truck occupants think that they don’t need to wear their seat belts because they believe their large vehicles will protect them in a crash.
The numbers from NHTSA tell the truth: 63 percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed in crashes were not buckled up. That’s compared to 43 percent of passenger car occupants who were killed while not wearing their seat belts.  Further data collected by NHTSA indicates that too many people wrongly believe they are safe in the back seat unrestrained. Half of all front-seat occupants killed in crashes in 2012 were unrestrained, but 61 percent of those killed in back seats were unrestrained.
It should also be noted that Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer.   NHTSA’s data shows that fatal crashes with motorcycles are on the rise, and helmet usage is on the decline.  One way we can decrease the number of fatalities and make the roads safer is if we work together, motorists and motorcyclists alike. Adhering to the following rules could improve highway safety for everyone.
Drivers should:
•Be on the lookout for motorcyclists at all times;
•Signal all lane changes and turns, and constantly check mirrors and blind spots before proceeding; 
•Be fully focused on the task of driving and in control of their vehicles at all times; and
•Never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Riders should:
•Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed; 
•Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use reflective tape and gear to be more visible. NHTSA estimates helmets saved the lives of 1,699 motorcyclists in 2012; and
•Never ride while impaired or distracted.