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Seat Belt Enforcement Blitz

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 9, 2007

 

 

ALLEN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICERS MOBILIZE FOR SEAT BELT ENFORCEMENT EFFORT

 

Allen County, IN – Allen County Sheriff’s Department officers will conduct added patrols May 18–June 3 during a statewide “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement. More than 200 agencies across the state will participate in the nationwide campaign that leads into the summer driving season - the deadliest time on the roads. 

This national campaign will precede the new Indiana seat belt legislation that recently passed which requires all passenger vehicle occupants to buckle up in all seating positions – including those vehicles plated as trucks.   


“The first step to preventing injury or death in a traffic crash is to buckle up, every seat, every time,” said Mike Cunegin, executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). “Unbelted motorists put their lives and the lives of their passengers on a collision course.”

Approximately 84 percent of Hoosiers do in fact buckle up. However, of the 5,316 vehicle occupants killed from 2001–2006, less than 50 percent were restrained at the time of their motor vehicle crash. Still, nearly 46 percent (2,444) were improperly restrained or not restrained at all.

Young adults most often neglect to buckle up. A 2006 ICJI observational survey indicated that young drivers and young passengers need to maintain proper safety belt use even in the absence of an older occupant.  Young drivers accompanied by a young passenger had an 8.8 percent lower restraint usage rate than young drivers accompanied by older passengers. More specifically, teen drivers are disproportionately represented in traffic crashes and deaths — with the lack of belt use cited as a major factor.


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“When teens ride together, someone needs to speak up to tell their friends to belt up,” said Sheriff Ken Fries. “That is all it takes to potentially save someone’s life.”


Medical costs for unbelted crash victims are typically double those of belted crash victims. Nationally, every household pays $200 annually for costs related to traffic crashes. A single seat belt citation can cost up to $25 but can cost much more with court costs and administrative fees.

Last Year, Allen County issued 3,125 seat belt citations. This year, the state and national seat belt enforcement effort is supported by a radio and television advertising campaign funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

 

The Governor's Council on Impaired & Dangerous Driving serves as the public opinion catalyst and the implementing body for statewide action to reduce death and injury on Indiana roadways.  The Council provides grant funding, training, coordination and ongoing support to state and local traffic safety advocates.

 

 

 

Contact:           Steven A. Stone

                        Public Information Officer

Allen County Sheriff’s Department

(260) 449-4954