Dover, DE- As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, Delaware law enforcement officers are urging everyone to buckle up. Since May 13th, law enforcement officials have been out in full force, taking part in the 2013 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.
“As we kick-off the busy summer driving season it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night – no excuses,” said Jana Simpler, Director for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “Delaware law enforcement officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt – Click It or Ticket.”
On the morning of May 20th, Delaware will be joining forces with Pennsylvania and Maryland to mobilize the Click It or Ticket (CIOT) “Border to Border” enforcement operation. Delaware State Police and Delaware River and Bay Authority Police will be joining Pennsylvania law enforcement at the Delaware Memorial Bridge to provide increased seat belt enforcement at border sites including I-95, I-495, and I-295. Selbyville PD will be teaming up with Worchester County Sheriff’s Department on Rt. 113 at the Maryland/Delaware border to conduct seat belt enforcement. All agencies will be sending a ‘zero tolerance’ message to the public: Driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what State. Several other states will also be participating in other areas along the northeast including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
“Troopers urge motorists to make safety a top priority by properly buckling up!” said Sergeant Paul G. Shavack, Director of Public Information for the Delaware State Police. “Being properly restrained can substantially reduce your risk of being involved and/or injured in a crash. Remember, there is NEVER a good excuse to ride in a vehicle without wearing a seat belt.”
Currently, the number of unrestrained fatal crashes in Delaware is much higher than at this time last year. At this time last year 29% of the fatal vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts compared to 53% currently. There have been a total of 17 vehicle occupants killed in a fatal crash this year in Delaware.
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 he sees any person in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt, even if there is no other violation. The ticket, which goes to the driver no matter who is unbuckled in the vehicle, totals $83.50.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. As noted, deaths involving seat belt nonuse are more prevalent at night than during the daytime. According to NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.