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  Article

“Seat Belts Save More Lives Than We Do,” Say Delaware Paramedics

Date Posted: Friday, May 11th, 2012
Categories:  News Office of Highway Safety Safety and Homeland Security

Dover – ‘Back country road, early morning nobody else is out there, what could happen? They did crash and her head went through the windshield’…’The one who was not wearing the seat belt was completely ejected from the vehicle’…’She was ejected from the vehicle that she was in…’ These are just some of the stories of crashes that real Delaware paramedics have encountered on Delaware roadways and is also one of the many reasons the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) along with officers from 17 participating State, County and municipal law enforcement agencies are launching the eleventh annual “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign starting Monday May 14th.

Click It or Ticket is a high visibility enforcement and public awareness campaign aimed at saving lives by getting more people to wear their seat belts.  This year the Click It or Ticket campaign message “Seat Belts Save More Lives Than We Do” speak about real life unbelted crashes, injuries, and fatals encountered by Delaware paramedics.

“Our paramedics see firsthand the serious injuries and deaths resulting from crashes when seat belts are not used,” said Governor Markell. “It is important we heed their advice and wear our seat belts on every trip.”

Extra enforcement will be conducted for a two week period beginning May 14th, in the form of traffic safety checkpoints and saturation patrols statewide. Because fewer than 1/3 of Delaware’s unrestrained fatals occur during the daytime, the focus will be on night time enforcement. Last year, 50% of all occupant fatalities were unrestrained; a significant increase over 2010 when 34% were unrestrained.

“Each year far too many Delawareans die in fatal crashes. Buckling up is one quick and easy way to keep our loved ones safe as we travel throughout the State. I encourage you to make it a habit every time you get into a vehicle. You never know when it may just save your life.” said Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lewis D. Schiliro.

Delaware law requires drivers and all passengers, including those in the back seat, to wear a seat belt.  An officer can pull over a driver if they see any person in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt, even if there is no other violation.  Officers will be issuing citations for seat belt violations as part of a zero tolerance policy.  The $83.50 seat belt ticket goes to the driver no matter who is unbuckled in the vehicle.

“What could you do with $83.50? Dinner and a movie? More downloads on iTunes?” asks Jana Simpler, Director for the Office of Highway Safety. “Don’t risk a ticket or worse. Buckle up, every trip, every time.”

Enforcement is being accompanied by statewide public awareness and paid media in the forms of billboards, radio, Pandora radio, T.V., print, and internet advertising and will also be accompanied by outreach activities to high schools and in the community.  Seat belt kits were distributed to high schools.  The kits included several fun ideas and activities for the schools to help teach students about the importance of bucking up such as setting up a faux checkpoint as students leave the school parking lot, and seat belt e-card students can create on Facebook and share with parents and friends and if their card is ‘liked’ they are entered into a drawing to win a gift card for dinner at Grotto Pizza with their family.

OHS community outreach events to promote seat belt safety include seat belt musical chairs at the Wilmington Blue Rocks May 18th & 19th, and Dover International Speedway June 1-3rd.  On June 2nd NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley will be playing seat belt musical chairs with a few lucky fans and winners of all the musical chairs contests will receive an OHS or Blue Rocks prize pack.

Get the facts:

  • Did you know that 50% of all occupant fatalities in Delaware last year were individuals not wearing a seat belt and that fewer than 1/3 of Delaware’s unrestrained fatals occur during the daytime.
  • Wearing a seat belt decreases your risk of being seriously injured or killed in a crash by approximately 50%.
  • Hospital data shows that unbelted occupants in crashes are 3 times more likely to require a hospital stay. On average, hospital costs for an unbelted crash victim are 55% higher than those for a belted crash victim.
  • Strong seat belt laws protect families.  When parents are buckled up, 90% of the time their children are too.

For more information on Click It or Ticket enforcement results and a look at updated campaign materials, please visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe .

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