April 16, 2021  |  10:49 am

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is participating in the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission’s “Buckle Up in Your Truck” campaign this month.

As part of this statewide campaign, which runs April 17-24, the STPSO will increase deputy patrols in neighborhoods and on our highways to conduct extra seat belt enforcement and checkpoints.

The extra manpower is being provided for this initiative by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, which also helps fund extra DWI patrols and underage alcohol enforcement throughout the year.

“Seatbelts and child safety seats save lives,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “We want people to know that we are out there every day looking for drivers who are not wearing their seatbelts and children who are not properly restrained. We hope the added enforcement this funding provides will encourage people to buckle up.”

Pickup trucks are twice as likely to roll over in a crash, and Louisiana pickup truck drivers and passengers are less likely to wear their seat belts, creating “a safety double whammy” that the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is addressing through a seat belt enforcement campaign.

“It truly is a safety double whammy because some of our most vulnerable drivers and passengers are least likely to protect themselves,” LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said.

The fine for not wearing a seat belt in Louisiana is $50, and subsequent offenses carry a $75 fine plus court costs.