Nearly 620 people in Prince George’s County lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes between 2004 and2008. Preliminary data shows that throughout 2008, someone was killed in Prince George’s County every three days in a crash. Extensive efforts within the county have improved the overall seat belt use rate from less than 80% in 2004 to a current compliance rate of more than 93%. However, Prince George’s County continues to lead the State with the highest number of motor vehicle deaths and the continued proper use of seat belts is the best way for motorists to protect themselves on the roadways.
“The Click It or Ticket campaign is not about writing tickets, it is about preventing traffic injuries that abruptly end lives and shatter the lives of those injured or left behind. Proper seat belt usage is unequivocally the primary reason why most drivers and passengers avoid serious physical injury when involved in a traffic crash,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton.
Through May, area law enforcement agencies in Prince George’s County will take a zero tolerance approach when it comes to enforcing Maryland’s seat belt law as part of Click It or Ticket. Law enforcement officers would rather write a ticket for not using a seat belt rather than showing up at a door to tell a family that their loved one was killed because they were not buckled up.
Buckle up for a Buck
The Buckle Up For A Buck program promotes seat belt usage and raises awareness of the traumatic results for those who choose not to buckle up.
Here are some basic facts to consider:
- The risk of being involved in a fatal crash is significantly greater at night as compared to the daytime.
- Nationally, 14,464 passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes in 2007 between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. Of that number, 63 percent were not wearing seat belts, compared to 45 percent of unbelted daytime (6 a.m. and 5:59 p.m.) occupants.
- Seat belts save lives – they are the best defense against injuries and fatalities.
- The force of an impact from a 30 mph crash is like falling headfirst from a three-story building.
- In 2007 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 15,147 lives. An additional 5,024 lives could have been saved if seat belts were worn at the time of the crashes.
- A seat belt is your best defense against a drunk or aggressive driver.
- Crashes don’t just happen on long trips.
- Most crashes occur within 25 miles from home, in good weather.
- Wear your seat belt - every ride, every time, day and night.
- Nationally, the number of traffic deaths in the United States is equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing, killing all aboard, every single day of every year. Over 40,000 people are killed and 3 million are injured each year from traffic crashes.
Seat belt patrols and other stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted during the national Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization, which runs May 24 - June 6. Prince George’s County law enforcement officers will be out in force stopping and ticketing unbelted motorists. Unless you have money to burn and want to risk a ticket or worse – your life -- remember to Click It or Ticket day and night.
Click It or Ticket is an annual national mobilization campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Maryland State Highway Administration’s Safety Office. Aimed at increasing seat belt use among all drivers and passengers in the United States, the campaign relies heavily on enforcement and education.