State, county and local police agencies will be stepping up enforcement of seat belt and other traffic safety laws this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The Click It or Ticket mobilization will run through November 27th.
“Police agencies throughout the Midwest are joining together this Thanksgiving holiday with one simple goal – to get motorists to buckle up, which will save lives on our roadways,” said Michael Witter, Regional Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “We want all motorists to arrive at their destinations safely. While law enforcement officials will tell you that issuing tickets is never a pleasant experience, having to notify next of kin following a fatal crash is by far a worse scenario,” stated Witter.
In 2009 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,713 lives. An additional 3,688 lives could have been saved if seat belts had been worn at the time of the crashes. 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 pickup trucks.
During the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday, 303 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, including 187 during nighttime hours. According to Witter, nighttime is one of the more dangerous times on the road because seat belt use is traditionally lower.
“Wearing a seat belt costs you nothing and may save your life or protect you from a serious, possibly life-altering injury. Not wearing a seat belt, especially during this Thanksgiving period, will definitely cost you a ticket at the very least, and maybe even your life,” Witter continued.
“In addition to stepped-up seat belt enforcement, police will also be cracking down on impaired drivers and those driving at excessive speeds,” added Witter.
“Anyone caught speeding will be ticketed, and anyone caught driving impaired will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Witter concluded.
For more information about the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign for highway safety during Thanksgiving, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.