Health & Safety

May 10, 2013

Campaign encourages drivers to ‘buckle up’

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Directorate of Emergency Services

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Young, an instructor/writer with Company D, 2-13th Aviation Regiment, prepares for a drive by buckling his seat belt, the first thing drivers and passengers should do when they enter a vehicle. Seat belts have been proven to save lives and their use is mandatory. The Fort Huachuca Provost Marshal Office, Directorate of Emergency Services, will join thousands of law enforcement officers, across 50 states, in participating in the national 2013 “Click It or Ticket” enforcement mobilization, May 20 to June 2.

The Fort Huachuca Provost Marshal Office, or PMO, Directorate of Emergency Services, will join thousands of law enforcement officers, across 50 states, in participating in the national 2013 “Click It or Ticket” enforcement mobilization, May 20 to June 2. The PMO Department of the Army civilian and military police are part of the national team stepping up high-visibility enforcement in an effort to save more lives and cracking down on motorists not wearing their seat belts.

More motorists need to get the message – wearing seat belts saves thousands of lives across America each year. While this year’s “Click It or Ticket” enforcement mobilization runs for about two weeks, motorists will know officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

During the 2012 mobilization, more than 100 tickets were issued on Fort Huachuca alone. Seat belt violations on post are $50 plus a $25 processing fee.

Seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide, in 2011 alone. Seventy-seven percent of passenger vehicle occupants thrown from their vehicles were killed in fatal crashes throughout that year. However, only one percent of crash victims who were buckled up were totally ejected from their vehicles, compared to 31 percent of those who were unbelted.

Motorists are 75 percent less likely to die in a rollover crash if they are buckled up. High-visibility enforcement is credited with increasing the national seat belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an estimated, observed usage rate, of 86 percent in 2012 – an all-time high.

In 2011, of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, 52 percent were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes. Younger motorists – young men in particular – are most at risk. Among 18 – 34 year old teens and young adults 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. Motorists must buckle up every time they go out, both day and night.

The national “Click It or Ticket” mobilization is considered effective at increasing seat belt use and credited with many lives saved over the past years, but PMO officials say there is still much more for everyone to do. The law enforcement officers will conduct high-visibility enforcement, and everyone must encourage each other to buckle up. Collectively, these actions should aid in saving many lives in the United States.
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