You have been warned! If you drive through Berryville, you have seen the temporary signs along sidewalks and medians heralding “Click It or Ticket.” Every year during the annual Memorial Day Weekend holiday period, law enforcement agencies join forces day and night, from coast-to-coast, for an enforcement blitz that stresses the importance of buckling up.
Chief Neal White said Berryville Police will participate in this nationwide enforcement from May 21 through June 3 and stressed the importance of seat belts. “Wearing a seat belt is one thing that all motorists can do to improve their safety and reduce the likelyhood that they will be injured if they are involved in a crash. During the next two weeks members of the department will be actively looking for seat belt violations and conducting safety checkpoints to reinforce the vital importance of buckling up.”
Seat belts are the most effective safety feature ever invented and have helped save thousands of lives. Their use has shown an increasing trend since 1994, accompanied by a steady decline in the percentage of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities during that time period.
Sadly, one in five Americans still fails to regularly wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
Night-time drivers have been the most egregious statistical segment of violators. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010 nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.
Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. NHTSA data shows that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, ages 18-34, who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash – the highest percentage of any age group. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.
This year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21 through June 3. Chief White added, “We’re hoping to make all motorists aware of the importance of wearing seat belts during all times they are traveling in a vehicle.”