With the holidays upon us and millions of Americans hitting the roads, the Sacramento Police Department wants everyone to arrive safely at their destinations. Drivers and passengers need to know that officers will be out in force sending the strong message to "Click It or Ticket".
"The holidays are a time of giving; our officers would rather give you the message on the importance of wearing a seat belt and not have to give you a ticket. So save your money for turkey and buying presents rather than paying for failing to buckle up," said Chief Rick Braziel.
While seat belt use is at a record high of 83 percent nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle. Even though in California 96.2 percent use their restraints, it still means that over 1.5 million Californians don't buckle up. National statistics show that those least likely to buckle up are teens, young adults, males, nighttime riders, motorists traveling on rural roads, and individuals traveling in pickup trucks.
During the holiday period, over 35 vehicle occupants who are not buckled up will be killed in motor vehicle crashes each day nationwide. Statewide, overall traffic deaths declined by 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009 due in part to the increased use of seat belts. Total traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels in six decades.
"Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes," said Christopher J. Murphy Director of the California Office of Traffic safety. "Law enforcement estimates indicate that over 1300 Californians survived by buckling up last year. Sadly however, about 150 others will not be gathering with families during the holidays because they choose not to use their seat belts."
More than 100 local law enforcement agencies statewide and the CHP will be participating in this year's Click It or Ticket mobilization. Funding to support California's Click It or Ticket campaign was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.