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MPD Says, “Buckle Up.”

May 25th, 2023 by

MPDThe Monticello Police Department is urging drivers to buckle up 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 22 to June 4,2023.

“We want seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike, ” said Chief Carlos Garcia.

“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 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 2021, there were 11,813 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m. -5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why 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. In Drew County, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $45.00.

“No matter the type of vehicle you’re driving in or the type of road you’re driving on, the safest way to stay safe in case of a vehicle crash is to wear your seat belt,” said Chief Garcia. ” Unfortunately, many families are suffering because their loved ones refused to follow this simple step. In fact, in 2021, we lost several community members because they did not buckle their seat belts.”

NHTSA data shows that seat belt use is higher among females than males. In fact, nearly twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females in 2021. Of the males killed in crashes during that same year, more than half (54%) were unstrained. For females killed in crashes, 42% were not buckled up.

“If the enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success, said Chief Garcia. “If you know a friend or family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread the lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of not buckling up. 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/coit.

Monticello Police Department, Chief of Police, Carlos Garcia

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