CHARLESTON, WV – As the unofficial start of summer, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is a busy time for Americans. Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles on their way to start their summer vacations. To help keep drivers and passengers stay safe, the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 21 through June 3, concurrent with the busy travel season.
“Buckling up is an easy task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” said Bob Tipton, GHSP Director. “But it’s more than that. Buckling up is the law. Our law enforcement officers see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life, and often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. Buckling up should be automatic for every driver and passenger.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half (48%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
“In 2016, we lost 80 West Virginia drivers because they did not buckle their seat belts,” Tipton added.
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 2016, more than half (52%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 40 percent were not buckled up.
“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 and start buckling up,” continued Tipton. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or loved one is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. There is no one someone won’t miss should a fatal crash occur. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticketmobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot