Harford County Sheriff's Office Kicks Off Click It or Ticket Enforcement Mobilization
No Excuses, No Exceptions – Buckle Up Day and Night
(Bel Air, MD, May 2, 2008) — Harford County Sheriff’s Office announced today it is joining with law enforcement agencies, Maryland State Highway Administration’s Safety Office and other safety advocates in renewing a pledge to save lives through the 2008 Click It or Ticket mobilization. The campaign, which begins in Maryland on May 1, intensifies seat belt enforcement among all motorists and around the clock. Despite Maryland having one of the highest safety belt use rates in the nation at 93.1 percent, it is estimated that more than 90 additional lives could be saved every year if all motorists buckled up on every single trip.
“Although most motorists in Maryland do buckle up, it’s clear that many people still don’t take belt laws seriously,” Sergeant Joe VanSeeters said. “So look for us to be out on the streets day and night making sure that everyone is buckled up.”
This year’s Click It or Ticket campaign will emphasize enforcement during nighttime hours – when drivers and occupants are less likely to wear seat belts. In 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15,046 passenger vehicle occupants were killed between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Nearly two-thirds (of those killed at night were NOT wearing seat belts — compared to less than half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed during daytime hours. Preliminary results in Maryland during 2007 indicate that 52 percent of MD drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes at night (8 p.m. – 6 a.m.) were not wearing seat belts. By comparison, only 36 percent of drivers killed in daytime crashes were not wearing seat belts
Young people, men in particular, are at greatly increased risk, and are among those least likely to buckle up at night. In fact, the most recent data available shows that roughly 66 percent of Maryland drivers killed not wearing seat belts at night were between the ages of 19-34 years old. In 2006, 73 percent of male passenger vehicle occupants between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes were NOT wearing seat belts.
Sergeant Dave Betz, Public Information Officer for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said, “Worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 45 percent for front-seat passenger vehicle occupants and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans. In fact, national data shows that more than three-quarters of passenger vehicle occupants who were in a serious crash in 2006 and were buckled up survived the crash.”
Increased law enforcement activities, including seat belt checkpoints, will be conducted nationwide during the 2008 Click It or Ticket mobilization. Paid national advertising, as well as State advertising, will support the mobilization by promoting the life-saving benefits of regular seat belt use, especially nighttime belt use, to all motorists.
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce motor vehicle crash fatalities. High-visibility enforcement has been proven effective at getting people to buckle up.
“Wearing your seat belt is easy and it costs you nothing. Not wearing your belt will probably cost you $25 in Maryland, or worse — it may cost you your life,” said Sgt VanSeeters. “Be safe and buckle up day and night.”
“Buckle up” is one of the key messages of the State’s Choose Safety for Life campaign, a partnership to save lives and prevent injuries on Maryland’s roadways. For more information, please log onto www.choosesafetyforlife.com.
To learn more about the Click It or Ticket campaign and the lifesaving benefits of wearing your seat belt, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.