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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Buckle up - or pay the price. That's police officers' message to teen drivers. For the next two weeks, police will be extra vigilant looking out for teens who aren't wearing their seat belts.

"Over 70% of teens that were involved in accidents including death, did not have a seat belt on," said Sgt. Brian Dedrick, North Little Rock Police Department. "Our goal this year is to make sure that they're buckled up in case they are involved in an accident."

18-year-old Chaz Elliott keeps three things in mind before he gets on the road.

"Always having your seat belts, making sure your mirrors are right and then just being cautious of what's around you," Elliott said. "It's always safe to have your seat belt on at all times."

As a part of the "Click It or Ticket" campaign, local police keep their eyes peeled for teens breaking the law.

Arkansas state law requires:

  • Seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers
  • Everyone to be buckled up if a driver has a learners or intermediate license.
  • All Children under fifteen years of age to be properly restrained.
  • Children younger than six years of age and weighing less than sixty pounds to be properly restrained in approved child safety seats.

Yet, many teens disregard the law and fail to buckle up.

"Teens are more concerned about getting a ticket than they are being injured in an accident," Sgt. Dedrick said.

At Thompson Driving School, instructor Jonathan Roberts said teens need to get their priorities straight.

"It's been much more effective if we explain the laws of physics to people, when they see the results of somebody not wearing their seat belts," Roberts said. "Everybody needs to know that the vehicles we get in are deadly weapons."

But Elliott has mixed feelings on being threatened with a ticket.

"Not necessarily be forced to do it but it's always a good idea because I had a friend that crashed before and his seat belt saved him," he said.

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