Law Enforcement Statewide Participate in “Click It or Ticket” Campaign

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click-it-or-ticketWith the holidays upon us and with millions of Americans hitting the roads, the Long Beach Police Department wants everyone to arrive safely at their destinations.  Drivers and passengers need to know that officers will be out in force sending the strong message to “Click It or Ticket”.

“No one wants to start the holidays off wrong with a ticket,” said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. “Save your money for turkey and buying presents for loved ones – don’t throw it away simply because you failed to buckle up.”

While seat belt use is at a record high of 83 percent nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up. Although in California 96.2 percent use their restraints, it means that over 1.5 million don’t buckle up.  National statistics also show that those least likely to buckle up are teens, young adults, males, nighttime riders, motorists traveling on rural roads, and individuals traveling in pickup trucks.

During the holiday period, over 35 vehicle occupants who are not buckled up will be killed in motor vehicle crashes each day nationwide.  Statewide, overall traffic deaths declined by 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009, due in part to the increased use of seat belts.  Total traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels in six decades. “Sadly, the holidays, which for many are the happiest times of the year, are also the deadliest and most tragic,” said Chief McDonnell.

“Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes,” said Christopher J. Murphy Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety.  “Law enforcement estimates indicate that over 1300 Californians survived by buckling up last year. Sadly however, about 150 others will not be gathering with families during the holidays because they chose not to use their seat belts.”

More than 100 law enforcement agencies statewide and the California Highway Patrol will be participating in this year’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Funding to support the campaign was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more details contact Sergeant Douglas Bender of the Long Beach Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Section at (562) 570-5737.

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