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INDIANA — Indiana State Police will be participating in a statewide blitz that will concentrate on commercial motor vehicle, or CMV, seatbelt enforcement and education.

The initiative, which will begin Sept. 24 and last through Sept. 30, will be conducted by ISP Commercial Motor Vehicle Officers and Motor Carriers Inspectors, according to a news release.

The goal for the Indiana State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Division is to reduce the number of CMV crashes, which will also lower the number of injuries and fatalities related to those crashes.

Education is a key component of this effort as troopers continue to emphasize to commercial vehicle carrier companies, their drivers and the drivers of passenger cars about the importance of voluntary compliance with seatbelt and traffic laws. It is an undisputed fact that proper seatbelt use reduces the possibility of injury or death the result of a crash, according to ISP.

Specific to commercial vehicle drivers, some operators are not properly wearing their seatbelt.

“Unfortunately, we are finding – more often than not – that many CMV drivers are using a device on the shoulder strap portion of the safety belt that is designed to reduce tension on the shoulder,” ISP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Commander Maj. Jon Smithers said in the release.

“The loosening of the shoulder strap can compromise the effectiveness of the safety belt and is also in violation of the Indiana seatbelt law and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.”

Through continued education and enforcement of Indiana’s seatbelt laws, ISP hopes lives can be saved. While the stated goal is voluntary compliance, in those situations where a traffic ticket is warranted, commercial vehicle operators will be cited for seatbelt violations.

ISP notes that semi-tractors do not have any type of air bag safety system installed within the cab of the truck, as compared to airbag systems installed in modern passenger cars and pick-up trucks. Unsecured commercial truck drivers involved in crashes can be thrown out of the driver’s seat resulting in a secondary crash when the truck is not brought to a controlled stop.

More information on the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division can be found at www.in.gov/isp and by clicking on the link “Commercial Vehicles.”

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