CCSO buckling down on Click it or Ticket

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) will participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) high-visibility seat belt enforcement campaign Click It or Ticket.

The crackdown combines messages about seat belt safety with increased patrols day and night, targeting all unbuckled motorists.

In Carroll County, the law states that each driver and front-seat passenger in any motor vehicle operated on a street or highway must wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt.

The Child Passenger Protection Act specifies that a child under 15 years old must wear a seat belt, saying a child less than 6 years old weighing less than 60 pounds must be restrained in a child passenger safety seat. A child less than six years old weighing more than 60 pounds, the law states, must wear a safety belt.

Click It or Ticket, a press release from CCSO says, is meant to enforce these laws to prevent the deaths of motorists or passengers not wearing seat belts.

"The statistics are really troubling," CCSO Lt. John Contreras said. "Almost half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes are not wearing their seat belts. And during this busy time on our highways, we see way too many preventable fatalities in crashes."

During the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday period, the release notes, there were 301 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. The release says 58 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

"This statistic is real numbers, not just an assumption," Contreras said.

These tragic crashes could have turned out differently, the release states. NHTSA research indicates that proper seat belt use, the release says, could reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.

"We want people to know that we're serious about this campaign, because we see the devastation first-hand when people fail to buckle up in a crash," Contreras said. "I've heard it argued both ways; some say 'if I had been wearing my seat belt I would have died.' How do we know? Statistics show otherwise."

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.

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