ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – There are alarming numbers of people who are not wearing seatbelts on the road, surprising even some police officers.

Recent bodycam footage from the North County Police Cooperative showed not only drivers failing to wear seat belts but the children as well. One case showed unbuckled children in car seats.

The footage also shows Sgt. Brian Sullivan often handing the driver their safety belt.

Sgt. Sullivan told us, “Part of what we do is educate people, so if I’m handing you your seatbelt back and you’re going to remember the little things I’m doing on a stop, you’re going to remember getting that seat belt.”

The NCPC ran the numbers, showing that of all moving violations issued in 2023, 36% of them involved someone not wearing a seat belt. The number was 44% the year before, in 2022.

St. Ann Police is making this issue a special focus this month.

“We really want them to protect themselves. More than anything, their children as well,” Lt. Monica Ruelas said.

St. Ann is joining forces with Breckenridge Hills Police, which is also cracking down. It’s a department dealing with the consequences of not wearing a seat belt.

An officer’s son just woke from a coma after a car crash—18-year-old Brendon Corbett Jr. His father told us it happened during a routine 10-minute drive to work.

“He’s done it a thousand times—go from school to work,” Officer Brendon Corbett Sr. said. “(He was) in a T-bone accident. Highway Patrol told me it was probably no big deal, unless you were not wearing your seat belt.”

Troopers said he was not wearing one, even though Corbett says they’re a seat belt family.

It’s not unusual when you consider that the Missouri Highway Patrol cited an average of 38,000 seat belt violations every year over the last three years. Corbett’s written plenty.

“It’s not to demean; it’s not to write a handful of tickets or as many tickets as I can. That’s not what I’m about; let’s be safe about this. You never know what can happen and now you never know what can happen,” he said.

His son is now recovering, and he hopes others get the message.

“Rather than click it or ticket, you’ve got to think click it or casket, because if you get ejected from that car, the chances of death or serious injury are sure to follow,” Sgt. Sullivan added.