Local agencies mobilize Click It or Ticket enforcement

From May 19 to June 1, state and local law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement to catch motorists who aren’t wearing their seat belts.

The 2014 Click It or Ticket national enforcement mobilization is taking place all across the nation. Whether motorists live in a city, the suburbs, or a rural area, area, law enforcement will be out in force to ensure that seat belts are being worn.

Wearing a seat belt is a serious issue. For the first time in five years, fatalities for unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants have gone up. In 2012, there were 10,335 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants who died. Because of these fatalities, cops are stepping up enforcement and cracking down on those who don’t wear their seat belts.

According to the Greenwich Police Department, the data is telling that wearing seat belts saves lives. In 2012, seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 people from dying. From 2008 to 2012, seat bells saved nearly 63,000 lives. In 2012, 3,031 additional lives could have been saved if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants five and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts.

Young adults are dying at a disproportionate rate because they are not wearing their seat belts. Sixty-two percent of 18- to 34-year-old passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing their seat belts.

Those who drive and ride in pickup trucks may think that their large vehicle will protect them more than other vehicles in a crash. This false sense of security may cause them to not wear their seat belts, but the stats show that this bravado is misplaced; 66% of pickup truck occupants who were killed were not buckled up. That’s compared to 45% of car occupants who were killed while not wearing their seat belts.

In addition, more men than women die every year in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2012, 65% of the 21,667 passenger vehicle occupants killed were men. Men also wore their seat belts less than women in fatal clashes; 56 percent of men were unrestrained, compared to 43%t for women.

In response, there is a nationwide call to mobilize on ensuring seat belt safety. Local law enforcement officers are on the lookout for those not wearing their seat belts — at any time of day. Police officers are even trained to spot seat belt violations at night.

To learn more about the Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit Nhtsa.gov/ciot.

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