From May 18 to 31, you may have noticed that Florida law enforcement agencies statewide participated in a high-visibility safety belt enforcement campaign. The hallmarks of the national Click It or Ticket crackdown are ramped-up enforcement (meaning zero tolerance for unbuckled vehicle occupants) and effective communication to all road users about the importance of safety belts. During the enforcement period, Florida had 220 law enforcement agencies participate in this year’s campaign.
“We believe they saved lives,” said Ralph Salvas, Traffic Safety Occupant Protection Program Manager. “We know for a fact that safety belts save lives in motor vehicle crashes, and I think they got people’s attention by cracking down hard.”
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 2013 Traffic Crash Facts, 567 (47.1 percent) passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. During this year’s campaign, the Florida Department of Transportation’s Safety Office urged law enforcement statewide to issue safety belt citations to anyone caught in violation of the law, especially at night when 59 percent of those killed are unrestrained.
Florida’s safety belt use rate is currently at 88.8 percent. The Click It or Ticket campaign is for the 1.7 million people who make up the remaining 11.2 percent. Hundreds more lives could be saved each year if every person was properly restrained on the road.
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/safety/2A-Programs/Occupant-Protection.shtm.