See The Light, Buckle Up At Night.

Date Posted: Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Categories:  News Office of Highway Safety Safety and Homeland Security

Officers are on the lookout for unbelted motorists day and night.

Dover – Did you know that you are three times more likely to be in a car crash at night and wearing a seat belt decreases your risk of being injured or killed by approximately 50%? Delaware law enforcement officers are currently on the lookout for unbelted motorists during the first seat belt enforcement campaign of 2013. Drive without a seat belt and a ticket could be the least of your worries.

Delaware’s seat belt use rate dropped from 90% in 2011 to 88% in 2012 with Kent County having the lowest use rate of 79%.  Sussex County had the highest use rate of the three counties at 90%.  Last year, only 50% of the vehicle occupants killed in a car crash were wearing their seat belts.

Delaware law requires drivers and all passengers, including those in the back seat, to wear a seat belt.  The lap and shoulder belts must be worn and shoulder belts must not be placed behind the back or under the arm.  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  are issuing citations for seat belt violations as part of a zero tolerance policy.

Enforcement will be accompanied by a statewide public awareness and paid media campaign that reflects on real life unbelted crashes, injuries, and fatals encountered by Delaware paramedics.  Paramedics see first-hand the life changing consequences of being involved in a crash and not buckling up.

Paid media will be in the forms of radio ads, Pandora radio, T.V. ads, and internet advertising and will also be accompanied by community outreach events to promote seat belt safety.

Get the facts:

  • Did you know that fewer than 1/3 of Delaware’s unrestrained fatals occur during the daytime?
  • 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 seat belt enforcement results and a look at updated campaign materials, please visit, like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at .

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