DOT launches annual safety belt campaign
More than 10,000 police agencies nationwide will enforce safety belt use laws during the Department of Transportation's annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign, which runs May 24-June 6.
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood kicked off the campaign by announcing the 2010 focus would be to promote wearing safety belts day and night, especially for groups less likely to wear them, such as men ages 18-34, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A traffic safety report (.pdf file) released this week shows safety belt use nationwide was at 84 percent in 2009. Fifteen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico achieved use rates of 90 percent or higher.
Research from NHTSA also shows the odds of being killed in a motor vehicle crash are 3 times greater at night and if the driver is not buckled up. Safety belt use is the most effective protection against serious crash injuries, reducing the risk by 50 percent.