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Buckle Up

Click It or Ticket Campaign Reminds Drivers: Buckle Up May 22 – June 4, and Every Day

| Suncoast Post Staff |

The Sarasota Police Department urges drivers to buckle up during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign coincides with the Memorial Day holiday from May 22 to June 4, 2023.

“We want seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike,” said Officer Tim Bales, Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit.  “It’s not just a safe thing to do, it’s the law.  During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll work with our fellow law enforcement officers across the City of Sarasota to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time, and we see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented,” said Officer Bales.

According to NHTSA, in 2021, 11,813 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in the United States. That same year, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing seat belts. That’s why the Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will take a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In the City of Sarasota, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $116.

“No matter the type of vehicle you’re driving in or the type of road you’re driving on, the safest way to stay safe in case of a vehicle crash is to wear your seat belt,” said Officer Bales. “Unfortunately, many families suffer because their loved ones refuse to follow this simple step,” said Officer Bales.

NHTSA data shows that seat belt buckle up usage is higher among women than men. Nearly twice as many men were killed in crashes as compared to women in 2021. Of the men killed in crashes during that same year, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For women killed in crashes, 42% were not buckled up.

“If the enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission a success,” said Officer Bales. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed for not buckling up. Seat belts save lives, and everyone, front seat and back, child and adult, needs to remember to buckle up.”

Additional Information:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – Click It or Ticket: This is the official website of the NHTSA’s Click It or Ticket campaign, which provides information about the campaign, resources for law enforcement, and statistics on seat belt use and fatalities.

Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) – Click It or Ticket: The GHSA is a nonprofit organization that represents the highway safety offices of states, territories, and the District of Columbia. This page provides information about the Click It or Ticket campaign, including state-specific data and resources.

National Safety Council (NSC) – Click It or Ticket: The NSC is a nonprofit organization that works to eliminate preventable deaths and injuries on the roadways. This page provides information about the Click It or Ticket campaign, including tips for drivers and passengers, statistics on seat belt use, and resources for employers.

AAA – Click It or Ticket: AAA is a nonprofit organization that provides travel-related services and resources. This page provides information about the Click It or Ticket campaign, including tips for drivers and passengers, statistics on seat belt use, and resources for parents.

Photo from Deposit Photos

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