Louisiana State Police unveils "Summer Heat 2014" - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Louisiana State Police unveils "Summer Heat 2014"

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 ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Louisiana State Police Troop E took the wraps off a new initiative called "Summer Heat 2014."

The goal of the program is simple - to save lives.

Driving is something many people do every day without a second thought.

However, a new law enforcement effort could have motorists rethinking the first thing they do after getting behind the wheel.

“You never think that that trooper is going to knock on your door and tell you that a loved one is dead you know you never think that you're going to be involved in a crash,” said Trooper Scott Moreau.

Moreau says not wearing a seatbelt remains the leading cause of motor vehicle fatalities in Louisiana and has increased by 30%.

That's why Troop E has initiated "Summer Heat 2014," a zero tolerance policy to enforce seatbelt law.

"The thirty percent increase alone is alarming. It bothers me, It isn't safe," said Jay Oliphant, Troop E commander.

Oliphant says enforcing seatbelt safety isn't just about writing citations.

“Sometimes you can educate them as to why it is important to wear your seatbelt.”

Some people don't wear seatbelts for fear of being trapped in a vehicle after a wreck but state police say that not wearing a seatbelt could be worse.

“The chance of you being knocked unconscious is greatly increased and therefore if your vehicle does catch on fire, you're knocked out. You can't get out or if you're underwater you can't get out you're knocked out you can't save your family.”

Troop E encourages everyone to buckle up before getting behind the wheel.

“There have been many times where I have had to make notification because a loved one has died in a vehicle crash and it's not a good thing it's not the best part of the job.”

You can be slapped with a $25 fine if you're over 13 years old and not buckled up - no matter where in the car you're sitting.
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