As summer kicks off and families hit the road for vacation, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Campus Police are partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to remind motorists to “Click It or Ticket.” Until June 2, participating agencies across the state will increase seat belt enforcement as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) nationwide mobilization.
“Buckling up is such a simple task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” said UTHSC Police Sergeant Joanne Morrow. “But it’s more than that. Buckling up is the law. Our law enforcement officers see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life. Often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. This should be automatic.”
According to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN), 299 people killed in Tennessee traffic crashes last year were not wearing a seat belt. This represents approximately 29 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities in 2018.
According to NHTSA, in 2017, there were 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 55 percent 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 during the daytime and nighttime hours.
For more information about seat belt safety or the THSO, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.