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Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign to Start Thursday

Arlington police car equipped with license plate readersStarting Thursday, Arlington County Police will be conducting seat belt enforcement as part of the national Click it or Ticket campaign.

The “no-excuses, zero-tolerance crackdown” is timed to coincide with the busy Thanksgiving travel period.

From an ACPD press release:

Every year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times.  Millions of Americans hit the roads to spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, more vehicles on the road means the potential for more dangerous roads, and it’s as important as ever that everyone is buckled up.

The Arlington County Police Department will be joining other state and local law enforcement agencies to participate in the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) high-visibility seat belt enforcement campaign Click It or Ticket.  The no-excuses, zero-tolerance crackdown combines powerful messages about seat belt safety, with increased patrols day and night, targeting all unbuckled motorists.

NHTSA research indicates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.  In 2013, seat belts saved the lives of 12,584 passenger vehicle occupants. If seat belt use had been at 100 percent, an additional 2,800 people would still be alive this Thanksgiving.

Nationwide, the seat belt use rate is at an all-time high of 87 percent, but the Click It or Ticket campaign aims to reach that remaining 13 percent. In 2013, for example, there were 9,580 unbuckled occupants killed in crashes–49 percent of all passenger vehicle occupants killed that year.  At night, the numbers are even more disturbing.  During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2013, law enforcement noted that 64 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were unrestrained, as compared to 48 percent during the day.

It only takes a second to buckle up, and isn’t that easier than getting pulled over and ticketed? With the help of highway safety advocates and local law enforcement officers across the country, we can increase seat belt use and save lives on our roadways this Thanksgiving.

Remember: Click It or Ticket. You have a lot to lose otherwise.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

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