Arkansas’ police agencies on Tuesday pledged increased traffic-law enforcement during the Labor Day holiday, saying officers will work longer hours targeting drunken drivers and people who aren’t wearing seat belts, reports the AP.
The goal is to save lives and prevent injuries, said Arkansas State Police Director, Col. JR Howard.
“Although traffic safety laws are enforced year round, special high visibility enforcement operations are used when traffic volume typically rises such as in the weeks leading up to and through a holiday period,” Howard said in a news release.
The statewide plan is part of a national crackdown on drunken driving sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The federal government is putting up $14 million for the national campaign.
The effort to increase seat-belt use comes as statistics show Arkansans buckle up at a lower rate than the rest of the nation. Last year seat belt use was at 78.3 percent statewide, compared to 85 percent nationally.
“Our message is very simple, drive sober and wear your seat belt,” said Romell Cooks, Regional Administrator, NHTSA Region 7.
The state’s Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile will also be used during the enforcement campaign.
The BAT Mobile is a 42-foot vehicle that allows officers to check suspected drunk drivers on the spot.