DOT reminds drivers it’s ‘Click It or Ticket’ time

The Connecticut Department of Transportation announced the start of the Click It or Ticket mobilization that aims to remind motorists and passengers to wear a seat belt every time they enter a vehicle. The Connecticut Department of Transportation has teamed up with state and local police and the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to deploy the mobilization in time for the upcoming holiday season. The high-visibility campaign will run now through Monday, Nov. 27.

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year and the increased number of vehicles on the road means an increased likelihood of traffic accidents. Research indicates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.

During the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 30), there were 301 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide and 53 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts. Additionally, nighttime is deadlier than daytime in terms of seat belt use. 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes at night were unbuckled, compared to 49 percent during the day.

Connecticut law requires all drivers and passengers in the front seat, regardless of the occupant’s age, as well as all children under 16 in all positions to wear seatbelts. Fines start at a minimum of $92 for first offense.

According to NHTSA, seat belts saved approximately 13,941 lives nationwide age five and older in 2015. If seat belt use had been at 100 percent that year, an additional 2,804 people would still be alive this Thanksgiving.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.

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