The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Region 7 which includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, is reminding drivers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt this spring, during the national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 23 to June 5, 2022.
Every time you go somewhere in a vehicle, whether you’re the driver or a passenger, you should have your seat belt buckled. Buckling your seat belt should be a habit—something you do without exception.
According to NHTSA, in 2020, there were 10,893 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 51% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
“Our region alone lost 955 lives in 2020. If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. If the enforcement effort wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” said Susan DeCourcy, NHTSA Region 7 Administrator. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”
The campaign is targeted to all drivers, but especially the hard-to-reach young adults 18 to 34 killed in crashes in 2019, more than half (57%) were completely unrestrained — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. Law enforcement sees the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time — the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented. Click It or Ticket combines local enforcement with a national media campaign to convey the message that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws to protect the community.
Thousands of Americans are alive today thanks to strong state laws and Click it or Ticket efforts. Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt. NHTSA has been working with the States on Click It or Ticket since 2003. Since that time, national seat belt use has increased from 79% to 90.4% (2021).