DETROIT (AP) - Police agencies in the Midwest are among those planning stepped up enforcement of seat belt and other traffic safety laws around Thanksgiving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says state police from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio are participating in a holiday period mobilization.
The "Click It or Ticket" effort is scheduled to begin Thursday and run through Sunday.
"Police agencies are joining together this Thanksgiving holiday with one simple goal – to get motorists to buckle up, which will save lives on our roadways," said Michael Witter, Regional Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "We want all motorists to arrive at their destinations safely."
Michigan State Police say related patrols as part of the nationwide Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort run Wednesday evening through the end of the day Sunday.
During the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday, 303 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, including 187 during nighttime hours.
According to Witter, nighttime is one of the more dangerous times on the road because seat belt use is traditionally lower.
"Wearing a seat belt costs you nothing and may save your life or protect you from a serious, possibly life-altering injury," he said. "Not wearing a seat belt, especially during this Thanksgiving period, will definitely cost you a ticket at the very least, and maybe even your life."
More details about the "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign are posted online by the traffic safety agency.
Copyright 2011 WNEM. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.