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"Click It or Ticket" starts summer on important safety note

"Click It or Ticket" starts summer on important safety note

Memorial Day traditionally marks the start of summer driving season. With millions of Americans taking to the roads, DOT and NHTSA have again launched our “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign.

During this period of heightened enforcement and education, we partner with our friends in state and local law enforcement to promote seat belt use for one simple reason: it saves lives.

In fact, since 1975, the simple act of putting on a seat belt has saved more than 300,000 lives. In 2012 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 lives. 

Yet, inexplicably, millions of Americans don’t buckle up when they drive or ride along in a car or truck. It makes no sense, and it causes unnecessary tragedy and heartache. Because, of the more than 21,000 vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2012, more than half—52 percent—were not wearing seat belts. 

For nighttime crashes, the statistics are even more compelling, with 62 percent of all occupants killed not wearing seat belts. 

Graphic using vehicle ejection fatality data to persuade viewers to use seat belts

The good news is that there's ample evidence that more Americans are getting the message that seat belts save lives. Seat belt use in 2012 climbed to 86 percent, a huge increase from just 58 percent back in 1994.

Click it or Ticket logoThat progress is thanks to tough laws, consistent enforcement, and ongoing public education campaigns like "Click It or Ticket."

This year’s campaign includes the “Fake-A-Rooney” ads that air nationally through Memorial Day weekend. These public service announcements convey the message that driving without a seat belt is not a joking matter, and that officers will issue a ticket if you’re caught without being buckled. 

Our message to drivers is simple: If you’re not buckled up, we’ll see it. And we’ll give you a ticket every single time. Because seat belts save lives.

From all of us at NHTSA, here's to a terrific--and safe--summer!

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How about making police officers wear reflective vests so we can see them!