SIDNEY — The Anna Police Department, Botkins Police Department, Fort Loramie Police Department, Jackson Center Police Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Sidney Police Department and AAA will be teaming up with law enforcement nationwide for a Border to Border Click it or Ticket event. The Click it or Ticket campaign aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement and providing seat belt facts for drivers.
According to NHTSA, in 2017 there were 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States; 55 percent of those occupants were killed at night (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) During the Click It or Ticket campaign, participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, with a focus on writing citations both day and night. In Shelby County, the penalty for a seat belt violation is $122.
“The Click It or Ticket campaign is so important because it raises awareness about seat belt safety during the time period when seat belts are least used,” said Lt. Joe Gebhart, Piqua Post commander. “With an increased number of cars flooding the streets due to the Memorial Day holiday, it’s imperative we get the word out about the importance of seat belt safety.”
“We have lost too many community members because they did not buckle their seat belts,” said Botkins Chief Tom Glass. Almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates, too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2017, more than half (51 percent) were unrestrained. 39 percent of females killed in those crashes were not buckled up.
“If 90 percent of the population would wear their seatbelts, an average of 4,200 lives would be saved annually,” said Fort Loramie Police Sgt. John Puckett.
“Senseless injury and sometimes death can be avoided when operating a motor vehicle, by simply making it a routine to buckle your seat belt,” said Anna Police Chief Scott Evans. Evans continued, “We are committed to keeping our community safe, with awareness, education, and compassion. Although citations are deterrents, it takes you, as responsible drivers, to commit to safe driving habits.”
“As a new grandmother, I cannot imagine the horror that could occur if I laid my new grandbaby across the back seat of my vehicle, unrestrained, as I drove,” said Deborah Barga, CEO of AAA Shelby County. “Yet every year drivers proceed with either their passengers or their selves completely unrestrained as they drive. That same horror of possible consequences should occur every time you get into a vehicle and do not hear the click of those lifesaving seat belts.
“AAA fully supports and applauds the efforts of these local law enforcement agencies to save lives through this safety awareness campaign,” said Barga.
“If the enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” said Sidney Chief William Balling. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more 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, visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.