To help prevent traffic fatalities in Charles County, the Charles County Sheriff's Office has enlisted the help of the County Commissioners, who on May 16 proclaimed their support for the Click It or Ticket seatbelt use campaign.
The number of people killed in Charles County in traffic crashes this year is increasing at an alarming rate. As of May 25, there have been 18 fatalities, one more than Charles County saw during all of last year. If crashes continue at this pace, Charles County could see more than 50 deaths from traffic crashes, says Sheriff Frederick E. Davis. Many of the crashes have involved unbelted occupants, as well as speeding and driver inattention.
The Sheriff's Office participates in a number of seatbelt safety campaigns, including Chiefs' Challenge, which runs from April to June. The Commissioners' proclamation was part of the annual Click It or Ticket campaign. With the proclamation, the Commissioners pledged to increase awareness of the benefits of using safety belts on every trip, every time.
Usage rates in jurisdictions with stricter safety belt enforcement laws continue to exhibit generally higher usage rates than those less able to enforce their laws. In fatal crashes, 74 percent of all passenger vehicle occupants who were involved in a fatal crash in 2003 and were restrained survived; of those who were not restrained; only 42 percent survived. It is estimated that between 1975 and 2000, safety belts prevented 135,000 fatalities and 3.8 million injuries, saving $585 billion in medical and other costs. If all vehicle occupants had used safety belts during that period, nearly 315,000 deaths and 5.2 million injuries could have been prevented - and $913 billion in costs saved.