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U.S. DOT Targets 45 Million Unbuckled Americans

"Click it or Ticket" campaign aims to increase seat belt use.

by on May.24, 2010

A vast source of revenue comes from an estimated 45 million unbelted drivers.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced that while seat belt use is at a record high 84% nationwide, 45 million Americans are still not using seat belts when riding in motor vehicles.

In an effort to increase belt use and save lives, the Secretary kicked off “Click It or Ticket,” a national “enforcement mobilization” that encourages all motorists to wear their seat belts – day and night. Drivers caught not wearing their seat belt run the risk of being ticketed.

LaHood says that on any given day about 38 people who are not buckled-up are killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2008, nearly 14,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways. Nearly half of them could have been saved if they had been belted.

“We’ve made great strides to get Americans to buckle up, but we must not rest on our laurels,” said Secretary LaHood. “Not wearing your seat belt is a serious, life-threatening practice. If you are one of the 45 million Americans who won’t buckle up, our Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization will be looking for you.”

NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle-up are:  teens, young adults, males, nighttime riders,  motorists traveling on rural roads, and individuals traveling in pick-up trucks.

“Regular seat belt use is the single best way to protect yourself and your family in motor vehicle crashes,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign is set to run from May 24 through June 6, 2010. The mobilization, expected to involve more than 10,000 police agencies, is supported by $8 million in national advertising funded through Congress and coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The ads, which will air in English and Spanish, generate awareness of the increased enforcement efforts and the increased chance of getting a ticket if you are not buckled up. Ads will be aired on television, radio, and online.

Teenaged Motorists Targeted In Latest “Click It or Ticket” Seat Belt Use Campaign

The seat belt remains the single most effective safety device ever invented, but only if you use it.

by on May.20, 2009

Unbuckled Poster from NHTSA

"Teen belt use rates are especially low at night."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is paying particular attention to subnormal seat-belt wearing rates among teenaged motorists in this month’s nationwide “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, of the 4,540 16-to-20-year-old vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2007, 2,502–more than half–were unbelted at the time.  “Teen belt use rates are especially low at night,” he noted, while kicking off the campaign at a Virginia high school last week.

Overall, the Department of Transportation estimates 1,652 lives could be saved and 22,372 serious injuries avoided annually if Americans raised their belt-wearing rates to 90% in every state.  Based on 2007 data, 15,147 lives were saved that year because crash vehicle occupants were wearing their belts.

As reported in this TheDetroitBureau.com, there is wide variance among the states in belt-wearing rates.  Naturally, those states with primary seat belt laws have the highest rates. A “Primary” state authorizes police to make stops if they note lack of restraint system use; whereas Secondary states permit issuance of tickets only after a vehicle has been stopped for some other violation. Primary state Michigan, for example, has consistently shown usage rates over 90% for the last five years.     (more…)