Law enforcement agencies and state highway offices across the United States are working together to remind drivers of the importance of wearing a seat belt, as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) annual campaign, Click It or Ticket.
According to NHTSA, nearly half (48 percent) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number increased to 56 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. During the week of Click It or Ticket, participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) confirmed that law enforcement agencies across the state will patrol in greater numbers for longer hours during the campaign.
“With another busy travel season getting underway, we’re reminding all motorists that whether you’re headed across town or across the state, every safe journey begins with wearing a seat belt,” said WisDOT Secretary Dave Ross. “As always, this is not about stopping or citing motorists – this is about public safety and getting all motorists to voluntarily comply with traffic laws.”
According to Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), daytime seat belt usage continues to increase, yet nighttime use remains lower, leading to a higher rate of fatalities. In 2017, 929 unbuckled vehicle occupants died in crashes.
“No family should have to grieve the loss of a loved one whose life was cut short,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Last year, more than 900 people killed in traffic crashes were not buckled up, leaving countless families, friends and communities to deal with a tragic loss. Many of these deaths were preventable, but seat belts only work if you use them.”
To kick off the national 2018 seat belt initiative with the highest level of support, NHTSA is spearheading Border to Border (B2B), a one-day national event coordinated by participating highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons. The B2B program aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement and providing seat belt fact sheets for drivers at heavily traveled and highly visible state border checkpoints. The B2B event will be held Monday, May 21, commencing the Click It or Ticket week, which runs through June 3 and covers the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Find out more about the NHTSA Click It or Ticket campaign.