Safety Commission launching seatbelt campaign for pickup truck drivers

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Safety advocates are launching a campaign to improve seatbelt use among pickup truck drivers.

They say these drivers accounted for 66 percent of those killed in crashes in 2012 while not wearing seatbelts, although they represented only 25 percent of the vehicles in Louisiana. There is also a high rate of rollover crashes.

"Year after year, our surveys have found that pickup truck drivers have the lowest level of seat belt use among drivers of all other vehicles," said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, which is coordinating the "Buckle Up in Your Truck" campaign. "With officers across Louisiana working 5,000 hours of overtime within a one-week period to enforce the state's seat belt law with a focus on pickup trucks, we are optimistic that the result will be lives saved."

The 'Buckle Up in Your Truck" campaign will include a public education component plus stepped up patrols and checkpoints to enforce seatbelt usage among pickup truck occupants. It will be held May 1 through May 7.

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