As part of a national traffic safety effort, law enforcement officers in the Southland will begin a two-week “Click It or Ticket” campaign Monday to encourage motorists to use their safety belts, as the Memorial Day weekend approaches.

“Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles, on their way to start their summer vacations,” Long Beach Police Department Lt. Kris Klein said.

“To help keep drivers and passengers safe, the LBPD is reminding motorists to `Click It or Ticket,”’ Klein said. “The national seatbelt campaign will take place May 21st through June 3rd, concurrent with the busy travel season.”

Extra officers will be deployed during the campaign on “special traffic patrols specifically to stop and ticket both drivers and passengers for failing to use the vehicle’s safety belt restraints,” Klein said. “This will also include drivers who fail to secure children in the proper child restraint seats.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained.

“This Memorial Day period and, in fact, every day, we want everyone in every vehicle to remember that buckling up could be their greatest defense in a crash,” said Rhonda Craft, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety.

The enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California OTS, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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