Law enforcement officers will be cracking down on motorists who aren’t wearing seat belts May 24-June 6. During last year’s Click It or Ticket campaign, law enforcement officers wrote more than 7,000 seat belt tickets.
“Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing and not wearing it can cost you everything,” said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.
Seven out of 10 Missourians killed in traffic crashes are unbuckled. A driver in a 2008 Missouri traffic crash had a 1 in 29 chance of being killed if they were not wearing a seat belt. In those cases where a driver wore a seat belt, their chance of being killed was 1 in 1,322.
This year’s campaign will also focus on child safety seat violations. When drivers aren’t buckled up, 28 percent of the children are not restrained either. When the driver was buckled up, only 2 percent of the children weren’t restrained.
Seat belt use in Missouri has remained relatively unchanged in the last six years and consistently below the national average. Missouri has 77 percent seat belt usage, well below the national average of 84 percent. Missouri’s teen seat belt use is even lower at 61 percent.
One-hundred and eighty eight law enforcement agencies participated in Click It or Ticket in 2009. Their efforts netted 7,243 seat belt and 243 child restraint violations. During the campaign, law enforcement also issued 10,322 speeding violations and made 375 DWI, 187 felony and 241 drug arrests.