State’s Click It or Ticket campaign kicks off

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging drivers to buckle up ahead of a national Click It or Ticket high-visibility seat belt enforcement effort.

The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs through June 2.

The campaign kicked off locally Monday at a press event at the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency attended by various law enforcement agencies.

“We want seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike,” Kevin Kuriatnyk of Safe Communities said

“It’s not just a safe thing to do — it’s the law. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash,” Kuriatnyk said. “We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented.”

He said the national seat belt use rate in 2023 was 91.9%, which is good — but it can be better. The average this year for Trumbull County is 82.9%, according to Kuriatnyk. Law enforcement will have a zero-tolerance policy for seat belt violations during this campaign.

“If the enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” Kuriatnyk said.

“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” he said. “Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”

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