Nashville, TN – Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – Beware! The 2012 Tennessee Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization has begun to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up. It will kick off nationally on May 21, 2012 and ramp up locally May 24.
The Governor’s Highway Safety 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 seat belt laws around the clock.
In 2010 across the nation, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 42 percent during daytime hours.
“Too many drivers and passengers on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy,” said Kendell Poole, Director of GHSO. “Our goal is to save more lives, so state and local law enforcement agencies will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.”
In Tennessee alone, 2011 preliminary data shows that 189 unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants were killed at night, compared to 160 who were unrestrained and killed during daytime crashes.
Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across the U.S. each year and GHSO is helping spread the word. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide.
In 2010, passenger vehicle occupants totaling 22,187 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA, and 51 percent of them were NOT wearing seat belts. Preliminary data for 2011 in Tennessee mirrors the same percentage.
Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. NHTSA 2010 data shows that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants ages 18-34 who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash. The number jumps to 66 percent when only men in this age group are included.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 11 through June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.
“We will be out cracking down on seat belt violators. Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night,” said Colonel Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. “State troopers are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up…no warnings and no excuses. Click It or Ticket.”
For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.