Charles County Cops Target Seatbelt Violations During May - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles County Cops Target Seatbelt Violations During May

LA PLATA, Md. (May 6, 2009)—The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is cracking down on seatbelt use violations as part of the annual Click It or Ticket seatbelt safety campaign that began May 1 and ends May 31.

Click It or Ticket is an aggressive enforcement and public education campaign during which police agencies focus attention on seatbelt violations by conducting seatbelt checkpoints and other operations. The campaign aims to increase seatbelt safety awareness and prevent traffic fatalities caused by failing to buckle up.

“It is disheartening to consider how many deaths might have been prevented had the victim worn a seatbelt,” said Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey. “It’s the law and, more importantly, it’s a person’s best defense in a crash.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which coordinates the campaign, more than 14,000 unbelted people in passenger vehicles died in crashes in 2007. About half of them might have survived if they had been wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision, NHTSA said.

While national research indicates seatbelt violations occur both day and night, studies show an increase at night. NHTSA’s 2007 statistics say that 14,464 passenger vehicle occupants — 63 percent of whom were not wearing seatbelts — died in highway crashes that year between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. Conversely, of the people killed in daytime traffic crashes, only 45 percent were not wearing seatbelts.

“We know fewer people are buckling up at night so Click It or Ticket doesn’t stop when the sun goes down,” said Sheriff Coffey.

When worn correctly, seatbelts have been proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent, and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans, NHTSA says. Seat belts are the single most effective piece of safety equipment in a vehicle, yet NHTSA observational studies show that nearly one out of five Americans still fails to wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.

The national Click It or Ticket mobilization is being supported by an $8 million national paid advertising campaign, which, along with additional state advertising, will encourage every driver and passenger to buckle up

“Seatbelts clearly save lives but unfortunately, too many people still need a tough reminder, so we are going to be out in force day and night buckling down on people who are not buckled up,” said Sheriff Coffey. “Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it might cost you your life or, at the very least, a ticket.”

Source: Charles County Sheriff's Office

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