Middletown Lands Victory in Statewide High School Click It or Ticket Contest

MIDDLETOWN, DE—The Delaware Office of Highway Safety announces that Middletown High School is the winner of the 2015 “Click It or Ticket” seat belt contest. The contest was coordinated by Delaware law enforcement school resource officers across the state. Officers and student helpers undertook a weeklong educational campaign for high school students, which included “Excuse Busted” seat belt posters peppered throughout the schools, online posts, morning announcements and videos. To gauge the impact on students, officers conducted pre and post campaign seatbelt use surveys at the entrances and exits to the high school.  Officers distributed “Pass/Fail” tickets to students entering or exiting the parking lot as a friendly reminder to buckle up.  In comparing the before and after totals, Middletown High School and its school resource officer, Delaware State Police Cpl. Pauline Waibel, were declared the winner with a 28 percent increase in seat belt use.

“We want young drivers and their passengers to use seat belts every time they get in a vehicle,” says Jana Simpler, Director of the Office of Highway Safety.  “This educational effort was designed to engage students in discussions about seat belt use and dispel myths that typically keep teens from buckling up. Click it or Ticket is focused on keeping all occupants in a vehicle safe and we congratulate Middletown High School students for getting the message and sharing it with their peers.”

Middletown’s SRO and student helpers will receive a pizza party sponsored by Grotto Pizza to congratulate them for their efforts.  McKean High School and Brandywine High School took second and third place respectively.

More than 92 percent of people in Delaware wear their seat belts. A seat belt reduces a risk of injuries or death in a vehicle crash by half.

Get the seat belt facts:

  • Delaware law enforcement issue an average of 998 seat belt tickets per month
  • May, June, July are the months with the most seat belt tickets written in Delaware
  • Each individual fatality costs society $1.4 million dollars
  • From 2008-2012 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives
  • Most crashes happen within 25 miles of home. Always buckle up.

Learn more about seat belts by visiting www.buckleupde.org.

Traffic Safety News – Click It or Ticket

Would you ever ride a roller coaster without the harness? Would you let your friends or family? Of course not! Did you know that when you ride in a motor vehicle without a seat belt you are taking a similar risk? One you can’t afford. Once again, Delaware is joining law enforcement agencies nationwide to enforce seat belt laws during the annual Click It or Ticket campaign.

What you need to know
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer travel season, which makes it the perfect time to remind everyone why seat belt use is required by law. It saves lives!
Consider these facts about unrestrained crashes in the First State from 2012-2014:

  • Spring months typically have the highest number of unrestrained crashes.
  • Males account for 59% of the people killed in these crashes.
  • There were 89 unrestrained fatalities over the 3 year period; 64 were drivers and 25 were passengers.
  • 32% of those unrestrained were also under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What you can do
Next time you head out on the road, make sure you and everyone in your vehicle are buckled up. Don’t just do it to avoid a ticket, do it so you arrive at your destination safely! Since it’s our job to help educate Delaware motorists, we’re taking Click It or Ticket seriously.

  • Everyone in the vehicle, including backseat passengers, must wear seat belts properly – shoulder belt placed across the chest with the lap belt low across the hips.
  • Children must be properly restrained in a federally approved child safety seat appropriate for the child’s age, weight and height up to 8 years of age or 65 lbs,  whichever comes first.
  • And if you have tweens, don’t negotiate on seat belt use. Life as a parent is full of compromises, but seat belt safety for our tweens is not up for negotiation.

For any seat belt violation, the driver will receive a $83.50 ticket.  Consider yourself warned: If police catch you not wearing your seat belt while driving, you will get a ticket. No excuses, no warnings. We’re hoping you’ll get the message and buckle up every trip, every time.

Buckle Up.  Arrive Alive DE.

Click It or Ticket Campaign Starts May 11th

Your safety is in your hands. Buckle Up.

Dover – Once again, the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and law enforcement across Delaware are reminding motorists that your safety is in your hands and to always buckle up as the Click It or Ticket campaign kicks off May 11. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, Delaware law enforcement agencies will be stepping up enforcement May 11 through 25, just prior to one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

“Every day, unbuckled motorists lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes,” said Kim Chesser, OHS Occupant Protection program manager. “As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to remind people to buckle up.  Buckling up will keep you from getting a ticket, and more importantly, it could save your life.”

Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, Delaware law requires everyone in the vehicle to buckle up every trip, every time.  The cost of not using one just isn’t worth it. Motorists who are not in compliance with state seat belt laws face fines and court costs up to $83.50.

The Click It or Ticket campaign is credited with motivating millions of motorists to always use their seat belts.  Only 71 percent of Delawareans used seat belts when the campaign began in 2002.  Today 92 percent of Delawareans buckle up.  In 2014, there were 35 fatalities in Delaware resulting from crashes in which drivers or passengers were not wearing seat belts.  Wearing a seat belt increases the chances of surviving a serious crash by 50 percent.  In pickup trucks, that number jump to 60 percent as those vehicles are more likely than cars to roll over in a crash.  In roll over crashes, seat belts help keep occupants from being ejected from the vehicles.

In addition to stepped-up enforcement, Click It or Ticket will include paid media in the form of TV, billboards, online advertising, and more.  OHS will also promote seat belt safety through community outreach, social media, and public awareness activities including seat belt checks, dispelling the myths of non-seat belt users on www.buckleupde.org, seat belt educational activities at Dover International Speedway, and a seat belt challenge to all the high schools in Delaware.

The OHS will be conducting a contest among Delaware high schools to see which one has the highest increase in seat belt use.  Each school resource officer (SRO) will be asked to conduct a seat belt check, then recruit a team of student volunteers to conduct seat belt educational activities and outreach for one week in their respective high schools. The SRO will then conduct another seat belt check and the school with the highest percentage increase in seat belt use will win.  The winning SRO will be the Grand Marshal for the Buckle Up 200 presented by the Click It or Ticket NASCAR Xfinity series race on Saturday May 30th at Dover International Speedway.  The winning team of student volunteers will receive a pizza party donated by Grottos pizza and the winning school will receive a banner to display outside their school and on their website.

Dover International Speedway has partnered with OHS to promote seat belt use and awareness through a social media contest providing fans the opportunity to win tickets to the Saturday, May 30, 2015 “Buckle Up 200” presented by the Click It or Ticket NASCAR XFINITY Series race.  To enter, simply take a photo of yourself or your passengers wearing a seatbelt in your vehicle and post it to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #BuckleUpSelfie! Your vehicle should not be in motion while taking the picture. 

One random winner will be selected to receive:
• Two (2) tickets for the “Buckle Up 200” presented by Click It or Ticket
• Two (2) pit passes
• Two (2) tickets to The Pit Stop
• The opportunity to be on stage during driver introductions
• A chance to be in Victory Lane after the race

Get the seat belt facts:

  • Delaware law enforcement issue an average of 998 seat belt tickets per month
  • May, June, July are the months with the most seat belt tickets written in Delaware
  • Each individual fatality costs society $1.4 million dollars
  • From 2008-2012 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives
  • Most crashes happen within 25 miles of home. Always buckle up.

Learn more about seat belts by visiting www.buckleupde.org.

Traffic Safety News – Speed Thrills But It Also Kills

You would never get into a roller coaster without putting on a seat belt, so why would you get into a car without wearing one? OHS wants to remind everyone that speed thrills but it also kills.

What you need to know

Did you know that a crash at just 40 mph has the same impact as falling from a six-story building? Here are some facts that you need to know:

  • 124 people lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 2014.
  • Speed was the primary contributing factor in almost 40% of these fatal car crashes.
  • Most speed related crashes occurred on roads that had a 50 mph speed limit.

What you can do

Speed and curves are a thrilling combination on a roller coaster. But in a car, they are a deadly combination, especially if you’re not wearing a seat belt. To keep yourself and the other passengers in your vehicle safe, take the following safety precautions:

  • Buckle up. Just like when you board a roller coaster, it doesn’t matter if you are in the front seat or the back seat, everyone should be buckled safely before the vehicle moves.
  • Be alert. A roller coaster is designed to travel safely on a carefully engineered track. Motor vehicles are controlled by the operator who must watch for signs and then obey those signs.

Speeding greatly reduces the driver’s ability to slow a vehicle when necessary or to steer safely around an unexpected curve, another vehicle or hazardous object in the roadway. There is a reason for posted speed limits. They are designed to protect everyone: drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

And if you need another caution sign, Delaware law enforcement officers are on the lookout to slow down speeding drivers and ensure all motorists are buckled up. Don’t take the risk. Speed thrills but it also kills.

Slow Down. Buckle Up. Arrive Alive DE.

2014 Delaware Traffic Fatality End of Year Wrap Up

Dover – As we welcome a new year and hopefully a safer year, Delaware Highway Safety officials are reporting preliminary end of year total traffic fatalities. In 2014, Delaware saw a twenty percent (20%) increase in traffic fatalities compared to 2013. Delaware experienced 101 fatalities in 2013 compared to 125 in 2014.   Within the past twelve years, the highest number of traffic fatalities that occurred in a single year in Delaware was in 2003 with 148 total traffic fatalities followed by 2006 with 147.   The lowest year was 2013 with 101 traffic fatalities.

“With nearly half (46%) of our highway fatalities resultin g from impaired driving and another 43% of those fatalities stemming from a failure to wear a seatbelt, the tragedy is that these deaths were preventable. The increase in highway fatalities over the past year is quite concerning as our motorists need to understand the consequences of their action,” said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.

Impairment by alcohol and other drugs continues to be a major factor in overall traffic crashes and fatalities. Alcohol and drug related fatalities made up forty-seven percent (47%) of the total motor vehicle crash fatalities, This is a slight increase from 2013. The major increases in fatalities involved motor vehicle occupants involved in traffic crashes as compared to other highway users, including pedestrians and motorcyclists.   In addition, tragically there were twelve crashes in which more than one person was killed. Contributing factors to the multiple fatality crashes included speed and/or impaired driving.

New Year’s Eve signaled the end of the 2014 Checkpoint Strikeforce and Safe Family Holiday campaigns. With the 12 DUI arrests from New Year’s Eve, that brings the total number of people arrested for DUI in Delaware to 4,086 in 2014, down from 2013 in which 4,249 persons were arrests for DUI statewide.

“The Office of Highway Safety remains committed to implementing sound initiatives designed to encourage safer driving on Delaware roads,” said Jana Simpler, director of the Office of Highway Safety. “We will continue to work with our safety partners to develop campaigns to protect all motorists on our roads.”

Seat belt use has increased slightly across Delaware last year. Delaware’s seat belt use rate is currently ninety-two percent (92%) compared to the national seat belt use rate of eighty-seven percent (87%). Motorcycle fatalities decreased twenty-five percent (25%) from 2013 to 2014. In 2013, twenty motorcyclists lost their lives on Delaware roads and in 2014, that number was fifteen. Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities both saw a slight increase from 2013. There were three bicycle fatalities in 2014 compared to two in 2013. Pedestrian fatalities continue to be a traffic issue with seven occurring in December 2014 alone. There were twenty-seven pedestrian fatalities last year compared to twenty-six the year before. Delaware has previously focused on aggressive driving crashes as a whole but has now turned the focus to speed, the predominate aggressive driving crash factor. Speed has contributed to 44 of the 112 fatal crashes in 2014.

“We will continue our statewide education and outreach efforts in 2015 to make pedestrians aware of safe walking and crossing practices to try and curb the pedestrian safety issues at hand in Delaware,” said Alison Kirk, community relations officer for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

As 2015 begins, OHS will conduct its first traffic safety mobilization of the new year focusing on unrestrained and improperly restrained occupants in vehicles, as well as speeding drivers. Beginning January 16, state and local law enforcement agencies across the state will be conducting overtime saturation patrols after 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday when this crash problem is at its highest. Examples of improperly worn seat belts are those that are put behind the back or under the arm.  For a seat belt to be effective and save a life, it must be worn properly with the lap belt low and snug across the hips and the shoulder harness worn across the shoulder and chest with minimal slack.

For more information visit our website for updates at www.ohs.delaware.gov, follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe, , or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.