GPC to check for seat belt usage

COVINGTON -- Georgia Perimeter College students and faculty headed home for winter break Wednesday, will get an early Christmas present if they've been good little boys and girls by wearing their seat belts.

The Newton County Sheriff's Office is partnering with the Georgia Perimeter Department of Public Safety in conducting a safety road check at the Newton Campus.

"All vehicles will be stopped and occupants who are wearing their seat belts will be rewarded with a coupon from Chick-fil-A," GPC spokesman Roger Barnes said. "Those who are not wearing their seat belt will be given information concerning the Governor's Office of Highway Traffic Safety 'Click It or Ticket' program. The NCSO reports that no uniform traffic citations will be issued during this educational opportunity."

NCSO Deputy Doug Clifton, one of the organizers of the event, said the NCSO helped with a similar operation at the school during the summer.

"We were actually very surprised at the compliance," Clifton said. "At least 75 percent were within compliance."

Officers, along with representatives from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) will be stationed in the exit driveway of the Newton Campus, starting at noon.

"All credit for this event goes to the college and Sheriff (Ezell) Brown and his partnership with the college," Clifton said. "Sheriff Brown is very adamant about being proactive in the community with education and raising awareness."

Clifton said according to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Administration, Georgia is one of the top five states in the nation when it comes to seat belt compliance.