PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association announces that departments across the state will be taking part in the National Click It or Ticket High Visibility Enforcement Campaign later this month
As part of the campaign, which will run from May 24 to June 6, state and local law enforcement agencies across the state and the nation will be stepping up their enforcement efforts for motorists who aren’t wearing their seat belts.
For this year’s Click It or Ticket seat belt mobilization effort, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is asking all states to participate in the Border to Border (B2B) initiative on May 24, a one-day, four-hour national seat belt awareness kickoff event coordinated by participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons.
B2B aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement and encouraging drivers and passengers to buckle up at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints.
Police agencies in Rhode Island have set a goal of 90% seat belt compliance or higher across the state in fiscal year 2021. The rate in 2019 was 88.6%.
“Wearing a seatbelt is one of the simplest steps a driver or passenger can take in order to prevent serious injury or death while in a vehicle, and it’s also one of the most effective,” RIPCA Executive Director Sidney Wordell said. “Through the efforts of agencies such as the NHTSA, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, AAA Northeast and police departments throughout the state of Rhode Island, we hope this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign further raises awareness of just how life-saving wearing a seatbelt can be.”
The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association shares the following seat belt facts and misconceptions, courtesy the NHTSA:
- The national seat belt use rate in 2019 was 90.7%, which is good — but we can do better. The other 9.3% still need to be reminded that seat belts save lives.
- Among young adults age 18 to 34 killed while riding in passenger vehicles in 2019, more than half (57%) were completely unrestrained — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
- Men make up the majority of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2019, 65% of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed were men. Men also wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women do — 51% of men killed in crashes were unrestrained, compared to 40% of women killed in crashes.
- Vehicle type: There seems to be a misconception among those who drive and ride in pickup trucks that their larger vehicles will protect them better than other vehicle types would in a crash. The numbers say otherwise: 58% of pickup truck occupants who were killed in 2019 were not buckled. That’s compared to 43% of passenger car occupants who were not wearing seat belts when they were killed. Regardless of vehicle type, seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash.
- Seating position: Too many people wrongly believe they are safe in the back seat unrestrained. Forty-five percent of all front-seat passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2019 were unrestrained, but 58% of those killed in back seats were unrestrained.
- Rural versus urban locations: People who live in rural areas might believe their crash exposure is lower, but in 2019, there were 11,971 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural locations, compared to 10,187 fatalities in urban locations. Out of those fatalities, 48% of those killed in the rural locations were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 45% in urban locations.
- High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2019, 55% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts.
- Click It or Ticket isn’t about citations; it’s about saving lives. In 2019, there were 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, we need to step up seat belt enforcement, day and night.
To learn more about the Click It or Ticket effort, click here.