U.S. DOT Kicks off Nationwide 'Click It or Ticket' Campaign to Target Seat Belt Violations

The campaign brings together 10,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to crack down on seat belt use laws

U.S. DOT Kicks off Nationwide 'Click It or Ticket' Campaign to Target Seat Belt Violations
Image: Pixabay
May 17, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) kicked off the annual Click It or Ticket law enforcement mobilization, bringing together the power of 10,000 agencies across the nation to crack down on seat belt use laws. The campaign is targeted at all drivers, but especially the hard-to-reach males ages 18-34 who research shows are far less likely to wear seat belts.

Click It or Ticket is a multi-pronged campaign that combines street enforcement with a national media buy campaign that airs across TV, radio, internet, and social media to convey the message that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws. The ads, which will air in English and Spanish, generate awareness of stepped-up enforcement of seat belt laws and the increased chance of getting a ticket if you're not buckled up. The ads will air on television, radio, and online from May 16 through June 5, 2017.

NHTSA has been working with the states on Click It or Ticket since 2003. This year the effort will include one evening "Border-to-Border" 22-state operation on May 22 from 4-8 pm to kick off the enforcement mobilization. During these hours, motorists can expect high-visibility checkpoints at well-traveled state border sites.

Data from NHTSA show that nearly half (48%) of the 22,441 occupants killed in car crashes in 2015 were not wearing a seat belt. In addition, 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were unbuckled, compared to 40 percent killed during the daytime.

Men continue to outnumber women in not wearing seat belts—52 percent to 42 percent, respectively. Pickup truck occupants tend to be the lowest among any other vehicle type in wearing seat belts—59 percent of drivers killed were not wearing a seat belt, compared to 54 percent for SUV drivers, 42 percent for passenger car drivers, and 41 percent for van drivers.

Ejection from the vehicle remains one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person in a crash. In fatal crashes in 2015, about 80 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicle were killed. Of those wearing a seat belt, only 1 percent were totally ejected during a crash, compared to 30 percent of the unrestrained occupants.

NHTSA says that the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives in 2015 alone. From 2011 to 2015, seat belts saved an estimated 64,000 lives. So buckle up—every seat, every time!