ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Last year, more than 150 people in New Mexico killed in car wrecks were not wearing seat belts.
Saturday, a local effort aimed to bring awareness about the importance of wearing seat belts, with a little encouragement.
Lt. Ken Willey with Rio Rancho Police was not handing out tickets on Saturday. He was also not on the lookout for lawbreakers.
“We noticed you’re wearing your seatbelt,” Lt Willey said. “Thank you for that.”
Instead, he was looking for people doing the right thing.
He teamed up with chiropractor, Lindsey Blessing to thank and reward drivers who are buckled up.
“Some people get caught off guard, they don’t know what to do about it,” he said.
“We wanted to give you a T-shirt as well as $10 dollars, to reward you for following the law,” Blessing said.
The search for law-abiding citizens is part of the “Buckle up for Safety and Lives” campaign.
“You would hope to see 100 percent usage out there but we do see quite a few motorists not wearing a seat belt,” Lt. Willey said.
He adds, while more people are buckling up, it’s still a problem.
“The purpose of the campaign is to save lives and reduce injuries,” Dr. Blessing said.
Drivers surprised with the money and T-shirt on Saturday were thankful.
“It’s important because I see how these accidents can affect people and I know how challenging it can be for them moving forward and how it not only affects their daily lives but also those of their families,” she said.
“Our job isn’t done until we see 100 percent of the…motoring public buckling up,” Lt. Willey said.
Rio Rancho Police with Blessing Chiropractics have held this event four times over the last two years.