GREENE COUNTY — As summer kicks off and families hit the road for vacations, the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket.
Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 22 through June 4.
“Our law enforcement personnel see firsthand the loss of life when people refuse to buckle up,” said Jillian Drew, Safe Communities Coordinator. “It’s such a simple thing, and it should be an automatic next step after sitting down in a vehicle.”
Drew said this campaign is concurrent with one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.
“We want to keep our community members safe, and make sure people are buckling up. If the enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving and gets them to buckle up, we’ll consider it a success,” she added.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
“Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash. Our Greene County law enforcement’s job is to stop those who are not buckled up, and to keep them from repeating this potentially deadly mistake. Our job as a coalition is to make sure families are buckled up even before leaving the house,” Drew said. “Buckle Up America! and commit to wearing seat belts on every trip, ensuring that everyone who rides in our cars is buckled up and that all children 12 and younger ride in the back seat in properly installed restraints appropriate for their age and size,” Ms. Drew said.
Drew offered a few safety tips, like never placing a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag, and drivers and front-seat passengers maintaining at least a 10-inch distance between themselves and their air bags.
“While we cannot always avoid a crash, we can take the responsibility to do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” she said.
Ohio Traffic Safety Office law enforcement liaison Paul Humphries said fatalities could have been prevented in more than half of the accidents in which loss of life occured had the involved individuals been buckled up. When individuals don’t wear seatbelts, they become projectile in the event of a crash.
For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, call 937-374-5683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on seat belt safety, visit http://bit.ly/1pWdQnu or the Click It or Ticket campaign, www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.
Story courtesy of Greene County Public Health.