“Click It or Ticket” seat belt awareness and enforcement campaign began May 15 as Newton County Sheriff’s Office joins Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to save lives on Georgia roads
NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — With the summer travel season ready to begin, Sheriff Ezell Brown and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office remind everyone to start every trip by buckling a seat belt and making sure all children are properly restrained in a child safety seat that meets the manufacturer’s guidelines for the child’s height and weight.
The NCSO is joining the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for the national “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign that starts on May 15th and runs through the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
During this period, the NCSO will be joining the statewide effort in enforcing Georgia’s seat belt and child passenger safety laws with the goal of saving lives in the event of a traffic crash.
Georgia law requires all front seat passengers in all vehicles to wear a seat belt, all children between 8 and 15 to wear a seat belt when riding in the front and back seat, and for children ages seven and under to ride in child safety seat that is recommended by the manufacturer based on height and weight of the child.
“One of the most difficult things for law enforcement officers is investigating a traffic crash where the victim or victims likely would have survived had they been wearing a seat belt,” said Sheriff Brown. “Whatever reason someone may have for not wearing a seat belt, one reason to buckle up is family and friends. Cars can be repaired or replaced but those killed in traffic crashes are lost forever.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,786 people died in traffic crashes in Georgia last year, which is an approximately 20 percent increase over a five-year period when 1,505 people were killed in traffic crashes in the state in 2018.
According to NHTSA, 56 percent of the persons killed in passenger vehicle crashes in Georgia in 2021 were not wearing seat belts and the number of unbelted persons killed in passenger vehicle crashes in Georgia has increased by 20 percent over a five-year period from 2017 to 2021. The state’s observed day-time seat belt use rate has also dropped from 97 percent in 2017 to 94 percent in 2021.
Seat belts are the most effective piece of safety equipment in any vehicle on the road and air bags are designed to work based on persons riding in the vehicle being restrained by a seat belt.
According to NHTSA, wearing a seat belt in the front seat of a passenger car can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and it reduces the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent for those wearing a seat belt in the light truck.
“Mistakes happen on the road every day and the goal is for everyone to be able to be able to walk away when a mistake behind the wheel leads to a crash,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. “Seat belts offer the best protection to anyone riding in a vehicle in the event of a crash and taking a few seconds to buckle a seat belt before every trip could one day save your life or the life of a family member or friend.”
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the NCSO offer these safe driving tips:
- Drive at safe and reasonable speeds and never try to speed to make up time.
- Buckle up before starting your vehicle
- Avoid distractions such as phones, conversations, reaching for items in your vehicle
- Program navigation devices before getting on the road
- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
May 15th is also the beginning of the “100 Days of Summer HEAT” mobilization that will run through Labor Day Weekend. The NCSO and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety remind everyone to make the summer travel period safer by driving safe speeds, avoiding distractions, especially phones, never driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and always wearing a seat belt.
More information can be found at gahighwaysafety.org.
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