Over the years, the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization has saved thousands of lives with the help of law enforcement officers, highway safety officials and safety advocates across the country. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of other motorists and passengers still aren’t getting the message.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2006-2010, 130,854 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes and over half (54 percent) were unrestrained.
As a partner in this year’s Click It or Ticket mobilization, The Louisville Police Department and Winston County Sheriff’s Department will be increasing high-visibility belt enforcement efforts to save more lives on our roadways.
During the May 21–June 3 crackdown, Louisville and Winston County motorists can expect to see an increase in officers helping save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock, including at night.
Regardless of the vehicle you’re in, not wearing a seat belt can still turn into a tragedy. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010, 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Yet, 51 percent of them were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.
Statistics show that passenger vehicle occupants are buckling up more during the day, but not enough at night. According to NHTSA, nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.
Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. Among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, ages 18-34, who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash – the highest percentage of any age group according to NHTSA. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.
It’s a simple fix to save your life and the life of a loved one. Encourage your loved ones to always buckle up. Statistics from NHTSA show that seat belt use saves thousands of lives across America and in 2010 alone seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide. An additional 3,688 lives would have been saved if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants five and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts. Seat belts save lives, but must be used to do so.
Remember: Officers are making it a priority to save more lives by cracking down on seat belt use violators during the day, and also at night. Encourage your family and friends to always buckle up… you could save them the cost of a ticket, and even their life. Click It or Ticket.
For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.