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Annual “Click It or Ticket” Seat Belt Public Awareness Campaign Begins May 18
DRPA Police Combat Motor Vehicle Fatalities with Enforcement, Education
CAMDEN, N.J. – The Delaware River Port Authority Public Safety Department will join law enforcement professionals from across the United States in the Click It or Ticket seat belt awareness campaign for two weeks beginning on Monday, May 18.
DRPA police efforts will focus on stepping up enforcement of New Jersey’s primary seat belt law and on educating motorists about the importance of buckling up in moving vehicles. Variable message signs at all four DRPA bridges will inform drivers about the Click it or Ticket campaign.
“Seat belts save lives,” said DRPA Chief of Police John L. Stief. “Decades’ worth of data makes that perfectly clear. When our officers remind drivers and passengers to buckle up, they’re doing it to save lives.”
Click it or Ticket, whichis funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is part of New Jersey’s annual effort to increase seat belt use through enforcement and public education. The message is aimed primarily at men ages 18 to 34, who research shows are less likely to wear seat belts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded accidents, including motor vehicle crashes, are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 54. Motor vehicles specifically are the leading cause of death among teens. In addition, more than 2.2 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries resulting from car accidents in 2012.
Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50 percent.
States with primary enforcement seatbelt laws (which allow police officers to stop a vehicle and issue tickets when one or more passengers are not wearing seat belts) have a significantly higher buckle-up rate than states that have secondary enforcement seat belt laws (where tickets for not wearing seat belts can only be issued when the vehicle is pulled over for another violation) or no seat belt law at all — 88 percent compared to 80 percent, according to CDC figures.
In addition to New Jersey, 33 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories have enacted primary enforcement seatbelt laws for people riding in front seats.
Click It or Ticket was launchedin North Carolina in 1993. Since then, national seat belt use has increased from approximately 65 percent to more than 85 percent, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
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