May 20, 2024

The Front Royal Police Department, in concert with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on Monday kicked off the annual Click It or Ticket law enforcement mobilization.

The week-long effort brings together the power of 10,000 agencies nationwide to crack down on seat belt use laws. The campaign targets all drivers, but especially males ages 18-34, whom research shows are far less likely to wear seat belts.

Click It or Ticket is a multi-pronged campaign that combines on-street enforcement with a national media campaign that airs across TV, radio, internet, and social media conveying the message that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws. The ads will air on television, radio and online from May 16-June 5.

NHTSA has been working with the States on Click It or Ticket since 2003. This year’s effort will include one evening “Border-to-Border” 22-state operation on Tuesday, May 22, from 4-8 pm to kick off the enforcement mobilization. During these hours drivers can expect high-visibility checkpoints at well-traveled state border sites.

A media release from the office of Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis states, “The protection of our citizens on the highway and spreading the message that seat belts save lives is the purpose of our participation in this campaign. Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash.”

The release further stated that Front Royal area drivers can expect to see extra officers on the street –as well as at checkpoints – over the next week.

“We ask drivers across the country to please make buckling up an automatic habit. Whether you ride in the back seat or the front, day or night, or just running across town or a 6-hour trip, everyone should buckle their seat belt every trip.”

Data from NHTSA show that nearly half (48%) of the 22,441 occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unbuckled. In addition, 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 40 percent killed during the daytime. More men than women eschew wearing seat belts – 52 percent to 42 percent respectively. Pickup truck occupants tend to be the lowest among any other vehicle type in wearing seat belts –59 percent of drivers killed were not wearing a seat belt, compared to 54 percent for SUV drivers, 42 percent for passenger car drivers, and 41 percent for van drivers.

Ejection from the vehicle remains one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person in a crash, according to the NHTSA. In fatal crashes in 2015, about 80 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicle were killed.

Seat belts are extremely effective in preventing total ejections; in 2015 only one percent of occupants reported to have been using restraints were totally ejected, compared to 30 percent of unrestrained occupants.

In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives. From 2011 to 2015, seat belts saved an estimated 64,000 lives, according to the NHTSA.

The NHTSA promotes safe behaviors on the nation’s highways. Information on safe driving, child safety, vehicle theft prevention, pedestrian and more can be found at the NHSTA website.

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