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‘Click It or Ticket’ seat belt enforcement campaign launching statewide | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is joining agencies from across the state to urge drivers to buckle up during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort.

The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 22 to June 4, 2023. The overtime patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).


“No matter the type of vehicle you’re driving in or the type of road you’re driving on, studies show the best way to stay safe in case of a vehicle crash is to wear your seat belt,” Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush said. “Our hope is that everyone will make this an automatic habit, both drivers and passengers. Together, we can help keep Hamilton County safe!”

Data from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) shows that unbuckled motorists make up almost 40 percent of all passenger vehicle deaths in the state. Since the Click It or Ticket initiative began more than 20 years ago, seat belt use has gone up over 30 percent in Indiana to 93 percent, which remains higher than the national average of 91.6 percent.

Despite making progress and advances in vehicle safety, in 2022, 236 unbuckled vehicle occupants lost their lives on Indiana roads – the third highest in the past decade. Young drivers, especially males, were the most likely to speed and the least likely to be buckled during a crash.

“These numbers are not just statistics, they represent real people and families that have been forever changed by the tragedy of a traffic crash,” ICJI Executive Director Devon McDonald said. “Many of the people we lost would still be alive today had they made the decision to buckle up. Seat belts make a difference. They save lives.”

In 2021, 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement.

During the campaign, participating law enforcement agencies will take a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. Drivers can be cited for lack of seat belt use, as well as for each unbuckled passenger under the age of 16.

NHTSA data shows that seat belt use is higher among females than males. In fact, nearly twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females in 2021. Of the males killed in crashes during that same year, more than half (54 percent) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 42 percent were not buckled up.

Research has repeatedly demonstrated the safety benefits of seat belts and the dangerous consequences when people choose not to use them. Buckling up can reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by up to 65 percent. Without a seat belt fastened, people can be ejected from a vehicle and killed, and that risk increases if the driver is speeding or impaired.

Tragically, vehicle collisions continue to be a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13, and NHTSA data shows that approximately 46 percent of all car seats are being used incorrectly. Parents and caregivers who do not buckle up are more likely to have kids who are improperly restrained.

“The loss of a child due to inadequate vehicle safety measures is a tragedy. However, it is also preventable,” ICJI Traffic Safety Director Jim Bryan said. “We owe it to our children to prioritize their safety and take every necessary precaution when it comes to their well-being.”

Indiana law requires the driver and all passengers to buckle up. Children under age eight must be properly restrained in a child car seat or booster seat according to the child restraint system manufacturer’s instructions.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you our agency offers free child safety seat inspections,” Sheriff Quakenbush said. “Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (317) 773-1872 if we can help you keep your kids safe. Our staff would love to assist you.”

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to make sure children are in the right car seat and that it’s used correctly and properly installed. Resources can be found at nhtsa.gov/TheRightSeat. To schedule an appointment with a certified car seat safety technician at one of Indiana’s fitting stations, visit on.in.gov/SafeKids.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit NHTSA.gov/ciot.

Click here to learn more about Hamilton County Traffic Safety Partnership.


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