The Searcy Police Department will once again be participating in the national Click It Or Ticket seat-belt enforcement campaign during the Memorial Day holiday.
Officers will be specifically looking for seat-belt violations Monday-June 4, according to Lt. Todd Wells. “We want you to be safe and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend holiday.”
Wells pointed out statistics provided by the U.S Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Administration. “Among young adults 18-34 killed while riding in passenger vehicles during 2021, more than half (59 percent) were completely unrestrained – one of the highest percentages for all age groups. Wear your seatbelt and drive safely, every day.”
NHTSA Regional Administrator Susan DeCourcy said, “We want seat-belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike. It’s not just a safe thing to do – it’s the law. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash.”
According to NHTSA, there were 11,813 unbuckled passenger-vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States in 2021. That same year, 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.-5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts, so DeCourcy said nighttime will be a major focus during the campaign.
Numbers provided to The Daily Citizen also indicate that seat-belt use is higher among women than men. More than twice as many men were killed in crashes as women in 2020. Of the men killed in crashes that same year, more than half (55 percent) were unrestrained. For women killed in crashes, 43 percent were not buckled up.
“No matter the type of vehicle you’re driving or the type of road you’re driving on, the best way to stay safe in case of a vehicle crash is to wear your seat belt,” DeCourcy said. “Unfortunately, many families are suffering because their loved ones refused to follow this simple step. In Region 7, which includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, in 2021, we lost 927 community members because they did not buckle their seat belts.
“If you know a friend or family member who does not buckle up when they’re in a vehicle, please ask them to form this life-saving habit. Help us spread this important message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of not buckling up.”
White County Sheriff Phillip Miller said his office is continuing to participate in a separate seat-belt program called the High 5 Program.
“It’s a seat-belt program we have been working on all year,” Miller said. “We have been promoting it on our social media. It raises awareness of the top counties with vehicle deaths.”
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