The Arkansas law enforcement community is urging motorists 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 Arkansas Public Safety Secretary Colonel Mike Hagar. “It’s not only the 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. 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, tragedy could have been prevented by just wearing a seat belt.”
According to NHTSA, there were 11,813 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States in 2021. In that same year, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why nighttime enforcement is an important focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations both day and night.
No matter the type of vehicle you’re driving in or the type of road you’re driving on, the best way to stay safe is to wear your seat belt. Unfortunately, many families are suffering because their loved ones neglected to follow this simple step. In fact, 228 of the Arkansas motorists killed in 2021 were not buckled up. Additionally, NHTSA data show 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 unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 42% were not buckled up.
“If the Click It or Ticket enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of not wearing a seat belt, we’ll consider our mission a success,” said Colonel Hagar. “If you know someone who does not buckle up, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message. Seat belts save lives. Remember to buckle up.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit NHTSA.gov/ciotor call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136, and go to https://www.tzdarkansas.org/ to learn about Arkansas’ Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities.