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Sunday, May 20, 2007

National Click It or Ticket Seatbelt Awareness Campaign Commences

Nighttime Seat Belt Violators To Be Targeted by Highway Police

New research released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that because seat belt use declines substantially, the odds of being involved in a fatal accident in a motor vehicle crash are three times higher at night. To heighten awareness of this dangerous trend, the annual Click It or Ticket seat belt crackdown campaign, commenced today by NHTSA Administrator Nicole R. Nason, will champion nighttime belt use.

"It's alarming that fewer people are buckling up at night, a time when the odds of being killed in a motor vehicle crash triple," said Administrator Nason. "This year, law enforcement officials will be ticketing violators who are not wearing their seat belts, especially during the evening hours."

In 2005, the NHTSA study found that more than 15,000 passenger vehicle occupants perished in traffic crashes between the nighttime hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., and almost two-thirds of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. More NHTSA survey data indicates that nighttime seat belt use is frequently 10 percent lower than the nationwide average daytime belt use of 82 percent.

"The annual Click It or Ticket campaign has helped increase seat belt use for over a decade, but despite these gains, too many of our family and friends continue to die on our roadways," Nason said. "Not wearing your seat belt, day or night, is a huge and unnecessary gamble."

At the national campaign launch, Administrator Nason was accompanied by representatives of NHTSA's Click It or Ticket partners, Chris J. Murphy, Chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association, and James W. McMahon, Chief of Staff of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The Click It or Ticket campaign will take place between May 21 and June 3, and is supported by a $30 million national and state advertising campaign.

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