St. Mary's Seat Belt Use Rate Measured 98% (34 seat belt citations issued)
St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police, Leonardtown Barrack, joined forces with the Calvert County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack, to conduct a seat belt enforcement zone. During the checkpoint, 1,692 vehicles passed through the Route 4 northbound lane, with 34 seat belt citations issued, along with two SEROs (equipment repair orders) and one suspended tag violation. St. Mary's seat belt use rate measured 98% during this checkpoint.
The seat belt enforcement activity is a continuation of the national, state and local "Click It or Ticket" campaign. On average, 37% of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in St. Mary's County are unrestrained. Fifty percent of young drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes are unrestrained, and 42 percent of drivers 65 and older killed in motor vehicle crashes are unrestrained.
The Department of Natural Resource Police conducted seat belt enforcement at the entrance of Point Lookout State Park on May 24, 2006, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Seat belt use decreased from the St. Mary's County observational survey site rate of 95% to a low rate of 85%. This is below not only the St. Mary's seat belt use rate, but it is below the state use rate of 91.5%.
Strict and intense enforcement of seat belt laws will continue in St. Mary's County. Anyone not wearing a seat belt will be ticketed. Maryland has a primary seat belt law. This means that anyone not wearing a seat belt can be pulled over and cited without any other violations occurring.
For more information on the St. Mary's County Highway Safety Program contact the Community Traffic Safety Program Coordinator, Jacqualine M. Beckman, at 301-475-4200 ext. 1850.
County officials want citizens to be reminded that "in St. Mary's County, it's Click It or Ticket. No excuses, no exceptions."