FARGO, ND (May 16, 2012) – Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. The 2012 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicks off May 21 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.
The Safe Communities Coalition is joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 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.
“Too many drivers and passengers on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy,” said Lieutenant Joel Scharf of the Moorhead Police Department. “Our goal is to save more lives, so area law enforcement will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.”
Yet, too many motorists may need a tough reminder. In 2010, 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA, and 51 percent of them were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes. In 2010, 59% of fatalities in ND and 41% of fatalities in MN were unbelted.
Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. NHTSA data shows that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, age 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. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21 through June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round. “Those who choose not to wear a seat belt will feel the heat from our officers who will be out cracking down on Click It or Ticket violators. Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night,” said Scharf. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up…no warnings and no excuses. Click It or Ticket.”
For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.