2017-05-17 / Front Page

Motorists warned to buckle their seat belts or be ready to get a ticket

Georgia law enforcement officers stepping up enforcement of state's seat belt law during annual Click It or Ticket campaign

Georgia drivers and their passengers are being warned to buckle their seat belts or face the consequences of being hit with a traffic ticket during this summer.

State and local law officers in Georgia are increasing their enforcement of the state's seat belt law during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization that begins on Monday, May 15.

“Georgia law requires drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts for one important reason, it saves lives,” Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said. “More than half the people killed in traffic crashes in our state were not wearing seatbelts, and many of them would still be alive today had they been buckled up.”

According to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9.784 people killed in traffic crashes in 2015 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Fatalities involving people not wearing their seat belts are also more prevalent at night when 51 percent of those were killed between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. were unbelted in 2015.

In Georgia, more than 50 percent of those who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2015 were not buckled up according to NHTSA. There were 1,007 people killed in passenger vehicle crashes in Georgia in 2015 with 519 of those victims were not wearing seat belts or there was no way to determine if they were belted.

This year, all 16 of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety's Regional Traffic Enforcement Networks will join agencies across half of the United States who will be conducting simultaneous patrols and road checks looking for all traffic violations especially those who are not properly restrained.

This border to border enforcement effort begins at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22 and sends the message to all motorists in Georgia there is nowhere they can drive without the realistic chance of getting a ticket for not wearing their seat belt.

"Summer is usually a time we unfortunately see an increase in the number of people killed in traffic crashes," G.O.H.S. Law Enforcement Services Director Roger Hayes said. "Getting people to wear their seat belts every time they get in a vehicle will help reduce the rising number of deaths we have seen on our roads in the last two years."

NHTSA estimates that seat belts have saved more than 347,000 lives over the last 40 years. Even though the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization will end on June 4, state and local officers enforce Georgia's seat belt law year-round.

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