With Traffic Fatalities on the Rise, Special Enforcement Hopes t - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

With Traffic Fatalities on the Rise, Special Enforcement Hopes to Make an Impact

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After seeing an increase in roadway fatalities in 2012 and nearly as many deaths already on the books in 2013, Gov. Dave Heineman, Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Department of Roads are joining together to promote safe travel and the Click It or Ticket program.

This will be the program's ninth year of promoting safe travel in the state of Nebraska. The Click It or Ticket campaign will be running from May 20 through June 2, making sure to include Memorial Day weekend, a heavy travel period.

Gov. Heineman said, "Highway safety is a shared responsibility, while we remain dedicated to continually increasing safety, we can't do it alone. By making safety a priority through seat belt usage, Nebraskans play a key role in helping save lives."

More than 200 traffic fatalities were recorded in 2012 and the first four months of 2013 has almost equaled that amount.

"The reality is, there are consequences to be paid when motorists fail to comply with traffic safety laws," said Col. David Sankey, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. He adds that an easy way to increase your odds of avoiding a ticket or surviving a crash is to obey the speed limit, buckle up and never get behind the wheel impaired or distracted.

With Memorial Day weekend marking the unofficial start to summer, there are a few things to keep in mind when driving during the summer travel season. Remember to look out for construction zones -- when workers are present, traffic fines double.

"Reducing property damage, personal injury and fatalities on our state's roadways is every driver's job when he or she is behind the wheel," said Randy Peters, Director and State Engineer of the Nebraska Department of Roads. "While highway workers may not be present over the Memorial Day weekend, the work zones will still be there. Please, drive extra carefully near work zones."

Officials also want to remind drivers to move over for emergency vehicles, as it is state law.

Over 60 law enforcement agencies across the state will be joining the NSP to monitor the roads with a special focus on the use of seat belts and proper child restraints.

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