Click It or Ticket: Make seat belt use a daily habit

This content is sponsored by District Department of Transportation

In 2016, more than 32 million people failed to buckle up while in their vehicles—that’s nearly 10 percent of drivers and passengers. Decades ago, we learned about the life-saving importance of the seat belt, and since that time, States across the nation have required people to buckle up when operating a vehicle. And for good reason: Just between 2012 to 2016, seat belts saved nearly 67,000 lives. But there’s still so much work to do. Tragically, if all passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 2,456 lives could have been saved in 2016 alone.

From May 21 to June 3, the Metropolitan Police Department is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement agencies nationwide for the 2018 Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on education and enforcement of seat belt laws. In the District it’s a $50 fine and 2 points for not having your seat belt buckled at all times, for drivers and passengers in front and back seats. Buckling up is the most important safety measure you can take to protect yourself and your family in a crash.

DC Police officers are working to spread the message that seat belts save lives. Drivers are asked to please make buckling up an automatic habit, just like brushing your teeth or turning off the light switch. Whether you ride in the front seat or the back, and no matter which car seat or booster seat your child may use, everyone’s seat belt should be buckled every trip. According to NHTSA’s 2016 research, 10,428 people were killed by neglecting this one simple task. The action is so quick and so basic—and it can save your life.

Here are the facts about the dangers of unbuckled driving:

  • YOUTH: Young adults in particular seem to think they are invincible in vehicles. Unfortunately, they are dying at a disproportionate rate because they are not wearing their seat belts.
  • MALES: Almost twice as many men are dying in vehicle crashes compared to women, and they are wearing their seat belts less often.
  • PICKUP TRUCK DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS: Many pickup truck occupants think that they don’t need to wear their seat belts because they believe their large vehicles will protect them in a crash. However, the numbers from NHTSA tell the truth: 60 percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed in crashes were not buckled up. That’s compared to 42 percent of passenger car occupants who were unbuckled when they were killed in crashes.

Each year, too many people die as a result of refusing to buckle their seat belts. The numbers must change. The behavior is too simple. Just a click of the seat belt. Wearing your seat belt is required by law. Day and night, front seat and back, Click It or Ticket.

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