‘Click It or Ticket’ returns for Memorial Day

If you aren’t in the habit of buckling up before driving, your vehicle might get pulled over this Memorial Day weekend and you might face a hefty fine.

The annual “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt mobilization takes place during the Memorial Day holiday weekend when many people are taking their first trip of the summer. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 25 percent of the state’s yearly traffic deaths over a five-year period from 2015-19 happen during June, July, and August.

“Our officers see too many people who were not wearing seatbelts, die or be seriously injured in traffic crashes.  Accordingly, they concentrate on enforcement of Georgia’s primary seatbelt law daily,” Chief Roy Whitehead of the Snellville Police Department said.  “The more people who choose to wear a seatbelt means fewer families to be notified a loved one has been killed or seriously injured in a traffic crash.”

According to the traffic agency, there were 9,466 unbuckled people riding in passenger vehicles who were killed in crashes in the United States in 2019. Of the young adults aged 18 to 34 who were killed in passenger vehicle crashes in 2019, 57 percent were completely unrestrained. 

The belief that people do not need to wear a seatbelt sitting in the back seat of a vehicle is false. In 2019, 58 percent of persons sitting in the backseat killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt as were 45 percent of front seat passengers killed in crashes.

There were also more people killed in passenger vehicle crashes in rural areas than urban areas in 2019. According to agency, there were 11,971 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural areas in the United States and 10,187 fatalities in urban locations.  

“With more vehicles expected on the road during the summer, it is important for everyone to wear their seatbelt on every trip and for kids under eight to be in a properly installed child safety seat as required by law,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said.  “No one knows what will happen when we are traveling, but a properly worn seatbelt offers the best protection in the event of a traffic crash.”

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety offers these safe driving tips:

  1. Drive the speed limit.  Speeding only increases the chances of being in a crash.
  2. Do not try to make up time by speeding.  Studies show speeding does not get you to your destination faster.
  3. Keep your focus on the road by avoiding distractions such as the electronic devices, conversations with passengers, eating, grooming and daydreaming.
  4. Set mirrors and navigation devices before getting on the road.
  5. Do not drive after drinking.  Pass the keys to a sober driver.

The traffic agency also recommends having your tires checked at least once a year to make sure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread.  One out of every four cars on the road has at least one tire that is significantly underinflated. Tires should be rotated most vehicles every 5,000-8,000 miles. Proper tire maintenance may not only save lives, but it can also save about 11 cents per gallon of fuel.

More information can be found at gahighwaysafety.org.

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