Special to 1808Delaware
The SAFE Delaware County Coalition is reminding drivers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 23 – June 5, 2022.
This year’s SAFE Coalition Click It or Ticket kick-off event is planned for 12pm on Friday, May 20, 2022 at Peterson Plaza located next to the Delaware County Courthouse.
This year’s event does not feature a typical “saved by the belt” speaker. Tammy Bellios Penter is a Delaware County resident and mother. Over 30 years ago she was in a life-altering traffic crash which almost took her life due to not wearing a seat belt. Tammy will share how her life took a whole different trajectory of struggle and heartbreak because she was not buckled up.
“We want the act of buckling up to become automatic to all drivers and passengers,” said Jackie Bain, SAFE Coalition coordinator. “It’s not just a safe thing to do – it’s the law. During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be working with our fellow law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented.”
According to NHTSA, in 2020, there were 10,893 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 58% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6:00 p.m. – 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. In 2020, Delaware County saw four unbuckled occupants killed – all of them at night. For this reason, one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
“You may think you’re safe in a certain vehicle, or on a certain road, but the truth is you’re safest when you buckle up, no matter what,” Bain said. “Unfortunately, many families are suffering because their loved ones refused to follow this simple step.”
“If the enforcement effort wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” said Lt. Robert Curry of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit NHTSA.gov/ciot.