As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, Lt. David Lohse of
the Chesterton Police Department is urging everyone to buckle up, as
Indiana’s 2013 Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement effort beings
This national mobilization is supported by thousands of law enforcement
agencies and traffic safety advocates across the country, including by the
Northern Porter County Traffic Safety Partnership, comprised of the
Chesterton, Porter, Burns Harbor, and Ogden Dunes police departments.
In Indiana alone, more than 250 law enforcement agencies will conduct
special patrolsŃday and nightŃto identify and ticket unrestrained motorists.
The effort concludes June 2.
“As we kick-off the busy summer driving season it’s important that everyone
buckles up every trip, every timeŃboth day and night. No excuses,” Lohse
said. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their
During Indiana’s 2012 Click It or Ticket mobilization, from May 18-June 3,
participating law enforcement agencies issued a total of 18,104 citations to
drivers who were not wearing seat belts. During the same time period, there
were 170 collisions and 12 fatalities on Indiana roadways involving
unrestrained motorists, with 91 ejections occurring due to nonuse of
During the 2012 Memorial Day weekend alone, there were 41 collisions and two
fatalities on Indiana roadways involving unrestrained motorists, with 30
ejections occurring due to nonuse of restraints.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger
vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the
time of the crash.
Deaths involving seat belt nonuse are more prevalent at night than during
the daytime. According to NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle
occupants killed in 2011 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.
were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Tragically, these national statistics are mirrored in the Hoosier state. In
Indiana, there were 3,450 crashes and 274 fatalities in 2012, involving
unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants. A total of 1,197 people were
ejected from their motor vehicles due to being unrestrained.
“Clearly there is more work to be done,” Lohse said. “Although Indiana’s
current seat belt usage rate is 93.6 percent, there remain a significant
number of drivers who are at an increased risk for death or injury because
they still fail to buckle up on a regular basis.”
Nationwide, younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. According to
NHTSA, among teens and young adults, ages 18-34, killed in fatal crashes in
2011, 64 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash - the highest
percentage of any age group. The number jumps to 66 percent when only men in
this age group are included.
“Click It or Ticket” is an annual enforcement effort that is supported by
federal Highway Safety funding awarded to more than 250 Indiana law
enforcement agencies from ICJI’s Traffic Safety division. Indiana’s
enforcement mobilization is reinforced by paid, statewide advertising,
combined with targeted public outreach efforts aimed at promoting the
life-saving benefits of regular seat belt use to all motorists.