Wed May 11th, 2016
From May 23 to June 5, 2016, the Southern Ute Police Department will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This enforcement period comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide are not restrained. In some states, the rate is as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes. This fact gravely highlights the need for increased enforcement and awareness of seat belt use.
“As law enforcement, we have a special role in helping protect the safety of our citizens, within the boundaries of the Southern Ute Reservation,” said Lt. Juan Martinez “Time after time, we see the deadly results that come from drivers and passengers refusing to wear a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash. Our job is to stop those who are not buckled up, and to keep them from repeating this potentially deadly mistake.”
In 2014, nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were unrestrained, according to NHTSA. During the night time hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number increased to 57 percent of those killed. Law enforcement agencies including the Southern Ute Police Department will write citations day and night, with a zero-tolerance approach.
“Hundreds of thousands of citizens will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend, as well as throughout the summer vacation season. We want to make sure that people are buckling up to keep themselves and their families safe. It is the greatest defense in a vehicle crash,” said Lt. Juan Martinez.
For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.