KOSCIUSKO — As the unofficial start of summer, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is a busy time for Americans.
Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles, on their way to start their summer vacations. To help keep drivers and passengers safe, the Indiana State Police is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 21 through June 3, concurrent with the busy travel season.
“Buckling up is something that should become second nature,” said Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter. “Besides that, buckling up is the law. The consequences of not buckling up are real and can include the loss of life. Often, tragedies could have been prevented with the use of a seat belt. No excuses. Buckle up.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half (48 percent) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2016 crashes were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 56 percent of those killed.
That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Indiana, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $25.
In 2016, almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates too. Of the males killed in 2016 crashes, more than half (52 percent) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 40 percent were not buckled up.
“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive or ride, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” said Indiana State Police First Sergeant Rich Myers. “Help us spread this life-saving message before a friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.