2012-03-22 / Editorial

Click It or Ticket

We’ve heard the slogan “Click It or Ticket” for several years now as law enforcement agencies around the country have told motorists to wear their seat belts or face fines. Before that it was “Buckle Up for Safety.”

Now the zero tolerance “Click It or Ticket” campaign has come to Jamestown through a federal highway grant. No matter whether you agree with the state’s seat-belt law or believe that the law violates your civil liberties, one must admit that the effort underway does raise the public’s awareness of the need to wear seat belts.

Here are some national traffic safety statistics that will get your attention:

• Sixty-three percent of the people killed in traffic accidents were not wearing seat belts.

• Males ages 16 to 25 are the age group least likely to wear seat belts.

• In 2011, only 84 percent of drivers wore seat belts. Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles and are estimated to save 9,500 lives annually.

• Crash victims who were not wearing seat belts have 50 percent higher hospital costs. We all pay more for those who don’t wear seat belts through higher taxes and higher health insurance costs.

The “Click It or Ticket” is considered the most successful seat-belt enforcement campaign ever. Seat-belt use has shown an increasing trend since 1994. At the same time, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of unrestrained passenger-vehicle occupant fatalities.

It is easy to do your part. Before you start your vehicle, put on your seat belt and make sure that every passenger is buckled up.

— Jeff McDonough

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