Click It or Ticket Effort Occurs Before High-Traffic Holiday
More Enforcement, Awareness Focus of Annual Mobilization
From May 23 to June 5, 2016, the Abingdon Police Department will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This enforcement period is in advance of, and includes, the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
There were 310 unrestrained fatalities in Virginia last year, and 71 were recorded so far this year, between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2016. Nationally, 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up last year, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but almost 50 percent of fatal crash occupants were not restrained. In some states, the rate was as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes.
“If you knew you were going to be in a crash before you left home, you would wear your seatbelt. However, you never know when the next crash may occur or who will be involved in it. Please wear your seatbelt; not only for yourself but for those who care about you,” said Police Chief Tony Sullivan.
Virginia’s statewide seat belt use rate was 80.9 percent in 2015, 77.3 percent in 2014, 79.7 percent in 2013 and 78.4 percent in 2012. The 310 unrestrained fatalities in Virginia last year represent 41 percent of the 753 total traffic fatalities.
According to NHTSA, there were 9,385 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2014 in the United States. Also in 2014, seat belts saved an estimated 12,802 people from dying nationwide. From 2010 to 2014 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives. If all passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 2,814 lives could have been saved in 2014 alone.