The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Monday, Nov. 9 kicked off the annual Click It or Ticket national seat belt enforcement mobilization, reminding everyone that seat belts save lives.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives each year, and the Department’s Click It or Ticket initiative is a critical reminder that drivers should wear a seat belt every time they get behind the wheel,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Click It or Ticket combines enforcement of state seat belt laws with an $8 million public awareness advertising campaign on television, radio, web, and social media in both English and Spanish. The ads will run from Nov. 9 through 29, while the enforcement mobilization will be from Nov. 16 through 29.
“Seat belts save lives – but only if they’re worn. Click It or Ticket reminds everyone to wear their seat belt every trip, every time, and officers will be patrolling our roads to enforce these lifesaving laws,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens.
In 2017, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives. From 2013 to 2017, seat belts saved almost 70,000 lives.
In 2018, nearly half of the 22,697 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were unbuckled – 52 percent of male passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing a seat belt, as compared to 39 percent of women. According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, seat belt use continued to be lower for males (87.7 percent) than females (92.0 percent) in 2018.
Among young adults 18 to 34 killed in crashes in 2018, more than half (58 percent) were completely unrestrained, one of the highest percentages for all age groups. Click It or Ticket especially targets young men in this age group, who research shows are far less likely to wear seat belts.
This year’s enforcement mobilization will once again be kicked off by the Border to Border initiative, a one-day national seat belt awareness event coordinated by participating States on Monday, Nov. 16.