Williams County – Once again, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement May 18th to the 31st, just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
“Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes,” said Lieutenant Charles Gullett, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Defiance Post Commander. “As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 59 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement.
Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Ohio, the maximum penalty for first offense for a seat belt violation is $30 driver; $20 Passenger.
Based on Williams County data compiled from 2009-2013 an unbelted vehicle occupant is 14.7 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than someone who is restrained and 2.3 times more likely to be injured. Last year In Williams County, 3 out of the 6 fatalities were un-belted vehicle occupants.
Nationally, almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates, too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2013, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 41 percent were not buckled up.
“If you ask the family members of those unrestrained people who were killed in crashes, they’ll tell you—they wish their loved ones had buckled up,” added Lieutenant Gullett. “The bottom line is that seat belts save lives. If these enforcement crackdowns get people’s attention, and get them to buckle up, then we’ve done our job.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot