COLUMBUS, Neb. -- A police department in Platte County is participating in a nationwide safety campaign this Thanksgiving Day weekend.

The Columbus Police Department will have more officers patrolling the streets for the "Buckle Up, Every Trip, Every Time" campaign.

The campaign aims to bring awareness to motorists to wear their seat belts.

"We think this is a worthwhile venture to bring seat belt notoriety to the public," said Columbus Police Chief Charles Scherer. "We put more officers on the street for the purpose of traffic enforcement for looking for seat belt violations."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will provide the department with $5,000 for officers to work overtime.

Chief Scherer said the department has at the minimum four officers on patrol at a time, but will have more this weekend due to the grant.

He said that with the Thanksgiving weekend being a busy travel time, having extra officers will help prevent other violations as well.

"The more sets of eyes we have on the road, the more sets of eyes we have looking for violations," said Chief Scherer. "When these officers are on the road and they see something else that's in violation, they'll take action on that as well as any other seatbelt violations that might be going on."

According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, 132 Nebraskans lost their lives in accidents not wearing seat belts.

The fine for not wearing a seat belt is $25.

Chief Scherer said seat belts can reduce the severity of injuries in accidents.

"We've had some accidents here recently in and around the Columbus area," he said. "I think we can reduce the seriousness of those injuries if we are wearing seat belts."

The campaign runs from Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 27.