Dover – Over the past two weeks, officers from approximately 30 State, County, and municipal law enforcement agencies issued a total of 1,010 citations to unbuckled motorists during the 12th annual Click It or Ticket campaign. The enforcement portion of the campaign ran from May 13th through 27th and involved traffic safety checkpoints and saturation patrols both day and night along with Border to Border enforcement collaboration of police agencies.
For the sixth year in a row officers participating in Click It or Ticket issued fewer seat belt citations than the year before since 2008 when officers issued a total of 2,347 citations in the 2 week period. Office of Highway Safety (OHS) officials are hoping this tread means more motorists are buckling up but OHS knows from the seat belt use rate that there is still more work to be done to ensure everyone is buckling up every trip, every time.
Delaware’s current statewide seat belt usage rate is 88% which a decrease from it’s all time high of 91% in 2008 & 2010. OHS officials are calling for everyone to take responsibility for friends and family members in their vehicles and ensure everyone is buckle up before the car is in motion.
“As the driver of a vehicle, you are responsible for the safety of your occupants and that includes ensuring everyone is buckle up,” said Jana Simpler, Director of the Office of Highway Safety. “It’s a known fact that seat belts save lives and we are reminding people to actively take part in this life saving behavior of buckling up each and every trip.”
OHS will begin their evaluation to determine if there has been any increase in the state’s belt usage rate in the last year by conducting a series of observational seat belt surveys at locations throughout Delaware. OHS officials will be surveying motorists on roads throughout the state and recording whether drivers and passengers are wearing seat belts. Motorists on all types of roadways from interstates to two-lane roads will be observed. Survey results should be available by early July.
Even if seat belt use does increase, OHS officials remained concerned about the lack of seat belt use in fatal crashes. Since January 1st, 50% of all drivers and passengers killed in vehicle crashes in the First State were not wearing seat belts compared to 45% in 2012. Looking at unbelted use in fatal crashes gives some indicator of overall use by occupants wearing seat belts.
“There is no doubt that the utilization of seatbelts and ensuring that all occupants of a vehicle are properly restrained, saves lives,” said Sergeant Paul G. Shavack, Director of Public Information for the Delaware State Police, “We hope that the Click It or Ticket campaign brings exposure to the use of seatbelts and reminds everyone that there is NEVER a good excuse to ride in a vehicle without buckling up.”
During the Click It or Ticket enforcement period, officers statewide also arrested 5 people for DUI, issued 285 cell phone citations, recovered 1 stolen vehicle, made 22 drug arrests, seized 2 weapons, and made 10 felony arrests. Additionally, officers issued 53 citations to drivers for child restraint violations, issued 297 speeding citations, and issued 878 citations for a variety of other traffic violations.
Delaware’s campaign included awareness messages aired statewide on TV, billboards, radio, online streaming video ads, Pandora radio, DMV TVs, and a new website www.BuckleUpDE.org. OHS partnered with Milford High School Student Resource Officers (SRO) Pfc. Joey Melvin to set up a seat belt event during lunch time. Students could test their strength at the seat belt high striker game that explained the force of an unbelted crash and also see first-hand how a person can be ejected or injured in an unbelted crash demonstration conducted by MCpl. Joseph Lane with the DSP Seat Belt Demonstration Unit. OHS continued their partnerships with Racing Limos of Dover to wrap the hood of a limo with the Click It or Ticket message. Racing Limos donated two limo gift certificates and Dover International Speedway donated 100 NASCAR Nationwide Series tickets to Milford HS for their seat belt event.
OHS also worked with SRO’s at Newark and Milford High Schools to stencil their parking lots with the Buckle Up message and SRO’s at Caesar Rodney, Seaford, and Indian River to conduct seat belt checks after school. OHS also promoted seat belt safety at Dover International Speedway May 31-June 2nd with NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley and Tommy Baldwin Racing. Yeley wore the Click It or Ticket driver suit for an interview on Trackside on SPEED and promoted seat belt use all weekend including an autograph session at the OHS booth. Tommy Baldwin Racing wrapped the No. 36 Chevy in full Click It or Ticket messaging for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover. OHS also set up a booth in the Monster Mile FanZone where fans could try the seat belt high striker game and watch the DSP Seat Belt Demonstration Unit with the Roll Over Convincer. OHS gave out Buckle Up t-shirts to participants of the seat belt activities along with Click It or Ticket lanyards.
The next wave of seat belt enforcement will run July 21st- August 4th.
Get the facts:
For more information on Click It or Ticket enforcement results and a look at updated campaign materials, please visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, www.buckleupde.org, like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe .
Related Topics: click it or ticket • public safety • seat belt enforcement • seat belts • traffic enforcement • traffic safety
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