Starting on May 14th the ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign launches to encourage seat belt use for Washington State. There will be increased seat belt enforcement by local traffic police through the Memorial Day weekend until June 3rd. This year a reported 150 law enforcement agencies will be issuing citations during the 17th annual awareness campaign.
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission 95% of Washingtonians regularly wear a seat belt when they travel in motor vehicles. This means, of course, that 5% do not wear seat belts are, therefore, putting themselves in grave and unnecessary risk of injury and/or death. Multiple studies have shown that seat belts exponentially save lives when used properly. Since Washington State passed a mandatory seat belt law in 1986 seat belt use has increased from 36% to 94-95%.
One enthusiastic supporter of seat belt safety is Police Chief Troy Tomaras of College Place, whose police department never misses a chance to participate in the ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign.
“I was a State Trooper for 26 years,” said Chief Tomaras. “I’ve investigated several collisions that could have been avoided had the occupants been wearing a seatbelt. I’ve seen occupants thrown from vehicles or ejected through windshields as a result of not wearing a seatbelt.”
To combat lackadaisical seatbelt use, Washington State put a primary seatbelt law into place in 2002 which allows law enforcement to ticket drivers and riders not wearing them while traveling.
The minimum fine in Washington State is $124.
For more information about seatbelt safety visit Target Zero’s advocacy website: http://www.targetzero.com/
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