BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Those who wear seatbelts increase their odds of surviving a serious crash by 45 percent, and West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program and local law enforcement officials across the state reminded Mountaineers on Friday, October 6, 2023, to buckle up.

Officers will be enforcing October Click it Or Ticket and Operation Crash Reduction through the rest of the month.

State officials said Columbus Day weekend is one of the deadliest holiday weekends in West Virginia.

“Over the course of a year, approximately 15,000 lives are saved, across the United States, for seatbelt usage, and, unfortunately, in our state, approximately 30 percent of our fatalities include unbuckled drivers or occupants,” said Sgt. Jamie Wilhite, who administrates the WV Governor’s Highway Safety Program at Beckley Police Department.

Wilhite urges folks to buckle up. Officers plan to conduct seatbelt visibility checks this month and to write tickets for those who aren’t wearing them.