During its Click It or Ticket campaign, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) challenges motorists to set a good example by always buckling up.
“Wearing a seat belt is simple and studies show it may very well be the difference between life and death in a crash,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Before you start driving, buckle up and make sure everyone in your vehicle is properly secured. Teach your children that not wearing a seat belt isn’t an option and insist that adult passengers follow your example as well.”
The annual national Click It or Ticket campaign combines high visibility enforcement of seat belt and child safety seat laws with outreach and education. To save lives, law enforcement officers across Virginia ramp up seat belt enforcement during the month of May.
In the last two years, more than half of people who died in Virginia crashes in vehicles equipped with safety restraints weren’t using them. In 2015, there were 310 unrestrained fatalities in Virginia; in 2014, there were 256.
“These officers have heard every excuse in the book when it comes to why someone chooses not to wear his seat belt. They aren’t enforcing these laws to give you a hard time. They have responded to countless car crashes and they have seen firsthand what happens when you don’t buckle up,” Holcomb said. “They know the simple action of wearing a seat belt saves lives every single day, and they don’t want to be the one who has to break the horrible news to your loved ones that you were critically injured or killed because you didn’t buckle up.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt users are 45 percent less likely to be fatally injured in a crash. In addition, statistics show that 79 percent of people ejected in a crash die; 30 percent of unbelted motorists are ejected during a crash.
NHTSA studies show that drivers and front-seat passengers are five times more likely to die in a crash if the rear passengers are not wearing seat belts, and this is particularly the case in head-on collisions.