About Half of Passenger Fatalities Were Unbuckled, EPD Steps Up Seat Belt Enforcement
Press release provided by the Eureka Police Department:
Once again, Eureka Police Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement May 18-31, including one of the busiest travel weekends of the year that kicks off the summer season.
“Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes,” said Chief Mills. “As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one best thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 59 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. In California, the minimum penalty for a seat belt violation is $161.
California statistics reveal that 500 unrestrained vehicle occupants died in 2013. Almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2013, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 41 percent were not buckled up.
“If you ask the family members of those unrestrained people who were killed in crashes, they’ll tell you—they wish their loved ones had buckled up,” added Chief Mills. “The bottom line is that seat belts save lives. If these enforcement crackdowns get people’s attention and get them to buckle up, then we’ve done our job.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.