Chesterton Tribune



Police to blitz roads starting Friday, better buckle up

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As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, Chesterton Police Lt. David Lohse is urging everyone to buckle up, because Indiana’s 2014 Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement effort begins Friday, May 9.

This national mobilization is supported by thousands of law enforcement agencies and traffic safety advocates across the country. In Indiana alone, more than 250 law enforcement agencies will conduct special patrols--day and night--to identify and ticket unrestrained motorists. The effort ends on Sunday, June 1.

“As we kick off the busy summer driving season, it’s important that everyone buckles up every trip, every time, both day and night,” Lohse said. “No excuses. Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt.”

In 2012, NHTSA statistics show that 21,667 vehicle occupants were killed in crashes nationwide--and 48 percent were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crashes.

Statistics show nighttime drivers are less likely to buckle up compared to daytime drivers. A total of 10,480 vehicle occupants was killed in traffic accidents at night (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) in 2012. Of those, 55 percent were not wearing seat belts (compared to 41 percent of occupants killed during daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.).

“Clearly there is more work to be done,” Lohse said. “Although Indiana’s current seat belt usage rate is 93.7 percent, there remains 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.”

Forty-nine percent of the 114,102 vehicle occupants who were killed on our roadways from 2008-2012 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crashes, according to NHTSA. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

“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 5/8/2014