Nov 16, 2009

Howard County drivers advised to Click It or Ticket

For release: Nov. 16, 2009 Contact: Sherry Llewellyn
Elizabeth Schroen
Howard County drivers advised to Click It or Ticket
Holiday seat belt enforcement being conducted

Howard County police today begin a seat belt enforcement effort that will span through the Thanksgiving holiday, ending on Nov. 29. Click It or Ticket is an education and enforcement campaign designed to raise awareness about the lifesaving and injury-reducing benefits of seat belt use. When used correctly, lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal or serious injury to front seat passengers by 45 to 55percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

So far this year, there have been 17 fatal crashes in the county, resulting in 19 deaths. Five of those who died were not wearing seat belts. The Howard County Police Department has asked all officers to place special focus on seat belt and child safety seat enforcement efforts during the coming weeks. The department will be conducting periodic seat belt and child safety seat checkpoints and inspections throughout the county.

Maryland is one of 16 states with seat belt compliance of 90 percent of more. Maryland drivers buckled up 93.3 percent of the time last year. A Howard County study conducted this year showed even higher compliance at 96 percent.

Click It or Ticket has traditionally featured a one-month enforcement push during the spring. During this spring’s effort, Howard County officers issued 3,578 citations for seat belt and child passenger restraint violations.

The campaign has expanded to include additional waves of heightened enforcement throughout the year, such as this holiday enforcement effort.

Howard County police ask everyone to always buckle up and make seat belt use a habit for life.

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