(photo by J. Darling)
Massachusetts Launches First Wave of Seat Belt Enforcement to Save Lives and Increase Belt Use Across the State
• In an effort to save more lives on Massachusetts’s roadways this year the Bernardston Police Department is partnering with State and other local law enforcement agencies to buckle down on all motorists not buckled up.
• As part of a special Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement across the state will be stepping up enforcement patrols and increasing other enforcement efforts to drive home the message; Click It or Ticket – day and night.
• Nationally, more than half (55%) of passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.
• The numbers in Massachusetts are even more tragic. During 2008, 64 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.
• Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
• When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent – and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and mini-vans.
• Yet, in 2009, more than 25 percent of Massachusetts’ residents still failed to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle
Young Males, Teens and Nighttime Drivers are those least likely to buckle up and are at greatest risk
• Men are much less likely to buckle up. In Massachusetts in 2008, 66 percent of male passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in crashes were NOT wearing their seat belts.
• Teens are still one of the least likely groups to buckle up. In Massachusetts, 71 percent of teen passenger vehicle occupants, ages 16 to 20, killed in motor vehicle crashes were not restrained at the time of the crash.
• According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, passenger vehicle drivers and passengers traveling at night are more likely to be involved in a fatal crash and are the least likely to wear their seat belts.
• This lack of seat belt use at night is deadly. In 2008, nearly 60 percent of Massachusetts passenger vehicle occupant fatalities occurred at night, and of those fatalities, 71 percent were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the fatal crash.
• When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat light truck occupants by 60 percent and as much as 80 percent in the event of a rollover crash.
No More Excuses – Click It or Ticket
• Even though drivers cannot be pulled over for simply not wearing their seat belt, drivers and passengers should be aware that if they are pulled over for some other infraction and are not wearing their seat belts, no warnings…no excuses…they will be ticketed and fined.
• The Massachusetts State Police, 150 local police departments, including the Bernardston Police Department have implemented zero tolerance policies on belt violations.
• Unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse - your life, you need to always remember to Click It or Ticket, day and night.
For more information, visit Massachusetts Click It or Ticket website.
* According to NHTSA, all numbers and percentages referencing belted or unbelted fatalities are based on “Known Usage.”