Click It or Ticket to Boost Seat Belt Use
Press release from the Dearborn County Traffic Safety Partnership
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. Lawrenceburg Police Lt. Brian Miller today announced that Indiana’s 2012 Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement will begin this Friday, May 18.
This national mobilization will take place over the Memorial Day holiday period and is supported by thousands of law enforcement agencies and traffic safety advocates across the country. In Indiana, more than 250 law enforcement agencies will conduct special patrols – day and night, to identify and ticket unrestrained motorists. The effort will conclude on June 3.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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.
In Indiana, there were 3,322 crashes involving unrestrained drivers/occupants in 2011 and 2012 fatalities involving unrestrained drivers/occupants.
“Although Indiana’s current seat belt usage rate is 93.2 percent – there remain a significant number of drivers who are at an increased risk for death or injury because they still fail to buckle up on a regular basis,” Lt. Miller said.
Just last year in Indiana, 1,024 people were ejected from their motor vehicles due to being unrestrained. Nationwide, younger motorists and men are particularly at risk.
NHTSA data shows that 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. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.
“Although Click It or Ticket has been credited with increasing Indiana’s seat belt usage rate from 63 percent in 1995 to an observed usage rate of 93 percent in 2011 we still have far to go” said Lt. Miller. “In 2010, 52 percent of all occupants killed in crashes were unrestrained in Indiana. Research consistently shows that wearing your seat belt increases your chances of surviving a crash by more than 50 percent.”
“Dearborn County motorists should be prepared to see more law enforcement on the roads during this 15-day period,” continued Lt. Miller. “Special patrols will take place around the clock, and if law enforcement finds you on the road unbuckled at any time, you can expect to get a ticket. No excuses and no exceptions.”
“Click It or Ticket” is an annual enforcement effort that is supported by federal Highway Safety funding awarded to more than 250 state and local law enforcement agencies from ICJI’s Traffic Safety division. Indiana’s enforcement mobilization is reinforced by paid, statewide advertising combined with targeted public outreach efforts aimed at comprehensively promoting the life-saving benefits of regular seat belt use to all motorists.