From May 23 to June 5, local law enforcement personnel will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This enforcement period comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide are not restrained. In some states, the rate is as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes. This fact gravely highlights the need for increased enforcement and awareness of seat belt use.
This year, the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition (ACSC) is partnering with NHTSA to increase campaign participation even more by coordinating a “Coast to Coast” seat belt enforcement effort. The Adams County Safe Communities Coalition, as a result of a grant through OTSO from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the efforts of safety partners statewide, focuses their educational efforts on traffic safety priority areas such as seat belt use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety and youthful drivers, and is managed through the Adams County Economic and Community Development Department.
The ACSC Coalition and its partners, participating in the “Coast to Coast” effort, will be on hand at the West Union Shopping Center for a “Click It or Ticket” kick-off on Monday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., exhibiting free materials promoting traffic safety, specifically seat belt safety. Several coalition partners will participate by showcasing new utility vehicles, have infant car seats on hand to demonstrate proper placement, passing out free information, and grilling hot dogs for all who stop in and participate in the kick-off. Coalition members will also be featured on the C103 radio show at 10 a.m. that day.
“As law enforcement, we have a special role in helping protect the safety of our citizens, from the East to the West Coast,” said Lt. Randy McElfresh, Commander, Ohio State Patrol-Georgetown Post. “Time after time, we see the deadly results that come from drivers and passengers refusing to wear a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash. Our job is to stop those who are not buckled up, and to keep them from repeating this potentially deadly mistake.”
In 2014, nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were unrestrained, according to NHTSA. During the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number increased to 57 percent of those killed. Law enforcement agencies will write citations day and night, with a zero-tolerance approach.
“Hundreds of thousands of citizens will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend, as well as throughout the summer vacation season. We want to make sure that people are buckling up to keep themselves and their families safe. It is the greatest defense in a vehicle crash,” said Debbie Ryan, Coordinator, Adams County Safe Communities Coalition.
Stop by the West Union Shopping Center parking lot on Monday to learn more about traffic safety.
For more information on the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.