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Click it or Ticket

By Staff | May 17, 2008

DES MOINES — The Emmet County Sheriff’s Department and Estherville Police Department announced they will join with other law enforcement agencies across the country in renewing a pledge to save lives by intensifying efforts to enforce seat belt laws among all motorists around the clock during the 2008 Click It or Ticket mobilization from Monday, May 19-Sunday, June 1.

In 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15,046 passenger-vehicle occupants were killed between the night-time hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.

Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent of those killed at night were NOT wearing seat belts compared to less than half, or 46 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed during daytime hours.

During evening and night-time hours, the problem is even more acute. Iowa data for 2005-07 shows 62 percent of all night-time traffic fatality victims were unbelted. During those years, 227 Iowans died unbelted in crashes at night while 149 persons were belted. During those years, 227 Iowans died unbelted in crashes at night while 149 persons were belted. So look for us to be on the streets day and night during this enforcement wave making sure everyone is buckled up.

Along with night-time motorists, men and particularly young men were among those less likely to buckle up.

In 2006, 73 percent of male passenger vehicle occupants between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes were NOT wearing seat belts. In fact all young people are at greatly increased risk. Sixty-four percent of teenage passenger vehicle occupants killed in fatal crashes during 2006 were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of the crashes. And the 2006 observed seat belt usage rate of those 16-24 was lower than any other age group.

Iowa currently has a 91 percent seat belt usage rate; however, that means there still are 180,000 drivers and 700,000 front-seat passengers who go unbuckled every day on Iowa roadways.

“Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce motor vehicle crash fatalities and high-visibility enforcement is effective at getting people to buckle up,” said Larry Sauer, bureau chief for the governor’s traffic safety bureau.

“Wearing your seat belt is easy and it costs you nothing. Not wearing it might cost you a ticket or worse, your life. I urge everyone driving on Iowa’s roadways, to please be safe and buckle up day and night – Click It or Ticket.”