‘Click It or Ticket’ continues through holiday weekend

DOVER — Since Nov. 9, local law enforcement agencies and the Delaware State Police have focused on seat belt use during the “Click It or Ticket” high-visibility enforcement campaign, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety said this week.

The campaign, which runs through Monday, will continue to coincide with marketing and educational efforts throughout the state, reminding drivers and passengers to buckle up, especially through Thanksgiving and the holiday weekend, the OHS said.

“Drivers, passengers and pedestrians have most likely noticed that our roads have become fraught with speeders, distracted drivers and inattentive driving,” OHS spokeswoman Cynthia Cavett said.

“From washing our hands and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to buckling up ourselves and our passengers before stepping on the gas pedal, we must do everything we can to be proactive during the busiest season of the year,” she added.

“This year, I am thankful for each and every Delaware driver and passenger who is choosing to buckle up. All of you make me proud. Join me this season and be thankful for those lifesaving belts that we are privileged to utilize in each of our vehicles. Stay safe, buckle up, ‘Arrive Alive.’”

In addition, OHS conducted outreach, paid media and social media messaging to encourage seat belt use, especially for young adult males.

“Our message is simple: We know you love the young adult males in your life — your sons, spouses, schoolmates, colleagues, nephews and so on,” said OHS Traffic Safety Program Manager Sarah Cattie.

“YAMs are by far the biggest violators of Delaware’s seat belt laws, comprising 53% of Delawareans who drive or ride in a vehicle unrestrained. We are asking our community to get involved and encourage YAMs to buckle up to help keep themselves and their loved ones — and all Delaware drivers, passengers and pedestrians — safe.”

Seat belt use in Delaware is at an all-time high of 92.5%. However, this means that one out of every 10 Delawareans is still not wearing a seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle. And this means that all those people are putting themselves at much greater risk of being ejected during a crash (30 times more likely) or killed in a crash (80% more likely).

During the campaign, OHS said it has provided facts to motivate motorists to buckle up every time and to share with loved ones to inspire them to do the same. Wearing a seat belt:
• Increases your chances of surviving a crash by almost 50%.
• Significantly lowers your chances of being injured during a crash. In the front seat of a car, occupants wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%. In a small truck, that jumps to 65%.
• Protects you in ways airbags do not. In fact, the force of an airbag can seriously injure or even kill you if you’re not buckled up.
• Buckling up is the law. A police officer can pull a car over and levy fines if anyone in the vehicle is not wearing a seat belt. The driver may be cited for anyone in the car not wearing a seat belt or for improperly restraining a child.
• Can save you money. Wear your seat belt and avoid potential fines, legal fees and medical costs. The penalty for not wearing a seat belt is $25, but with court costs and fees, the ticket will be $83.50.

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