Chesterton Tribune



Buckle up: Duneland PDs to blitz area roadways May 17 through June 2

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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 Friday.

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 seat belt.”

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 restraints.

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.




Posted 5/15/2013