Area residents will notice an increased law enforcement presence between now and Dec. 10 as the Mesquite Police Department joins with law enforcement statewide to educate motorists on the life-saving importance of wearing seat belts. The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to remind motorists that seat belts save lives and that failing to buckle up can result in costly ticket fees.
It’s important to buckle up, every trip, every time, no matter the distance of the drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of car crashes occur within a five-mile radius of a motorist’s home and nearly 70 percent happen within 10 miles from home. Wearing a seat belt doubles motorists’ and passengers’ chances of surviving a crash.
“Buckling up—something that takes literally two seconds—can be the difference between life and serious injury, or even death, in a crash,” said Sgt. MaQuade Chesley, Public Information Officer. “We encourage drivers to fasten their seat belts before they start their car, and to enforce this rule with passengers to ensure everyone is buckled before taking off.”
During this Joining Forces enforcement campaign, which runs through Dec. 10, officers are looking for drivers who “fake it” by rushing to click their belt into place when pulled over for another offense. Faking it won’t protect lives. Drivers are not only accountable for themselves, but they also will be penalized for occupants in the vehicle who are not restrained.
While Nevada’s seat belt use rate of 91 percent is higher than the national average of 86 percent, law enforcement officials are zeroing in on that nine percent who do not wear their seat belts. The intent of the Joining Forces campaign is to educate that minority— which accounts for 43 percent of fatalities on the state’s roadways—about the importance of buckling up.
Nevada Joining Forces is a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement program that promotes statewide enforcement of seat belt use, DUI, distracted driving, speed and pedestrian safety. During this campaign last year, Nevada’s Joining Forces partners made 4,801 stops statewide, citing 3,986 adults and 95 teens. In addition, 328 adults were issued citations for improperly restraining children.
The Click It or Ticket campaign is the nation’s most successful seat belt compliance effort, significantly raising awareness and seat belt usage since its inception. More information about seat belt use and Nevada’s Zero Fatalities program is available at http://ZeroFatalitiesNV.com/buckle.