Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts-beware. The 2012 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicked off May 21 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing all traffic laws, especially seat belt laws around the clock.
While Virginia’s seat belt use rate increased slightly to 81.8 percent up from 80.5 percent in 2010, there is still much work to be done. According to the DMV Highway Safety Office’s TREDS (Traffic Records Electronic Data System) in preliminary 2011 statistics, there were a total of 765 fatalities-306 of them were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Of the total unrestrained fatalities (306), 93 or 30.39 percent of them were between the hours of Midnight-6:00 a.m. with 69.89 percent or 65 of those 93 between midnight and 3:00 a.m.
“Statistics prove that wearing your seatbelt can you save your life”, said Loudoun County Sheriff Michael L. Chapman “Chances of serious injury or even death if you are in a crash greatly increase when you don’t buckle up”, Sheriff Chapman said. “The goal of the enforcement campaign is to get people into the habit of wearing their seatbelts, ultimately saving more lives”, he added.
Regular seat belt use saves thousands of lives across Virginia each year. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 272 lives in Virginia. An additional 112 lives could be saved with 100 percent seat belt use.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21-June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing traffic laws, including seat belt laws year-round.