Sheriff: Be safe, wear your seatbelt
The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office once again has joined other state and federal agencies for the annual Click It or Ticket program to remind drivers of the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seatbelt.
The YCSO's effort, which began Monday, May 17, and will continue through June 6, is in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was kicked off with Border to Border, a one-day national seatbelt awareness event that is coordinated with state highway offices and their partners.
"The B2B program aims to increase law enforcement participation on coordinating highly visible seatbelt enforcement and providing seatbelt fact sheets for drivers at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints," the NHTSA said in a news release.
The facts behind Border to Border and the Click It or Ticket campaign illustrate all to well the need for awareness among drivers. According to the NHTSA, 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in 2019 in the United States. More than half of them were drivers or passengers traveling without seatbelts between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
"That's why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement," the release said.
To address that, law enforcement agencies like the YCSO will be taking a "no excuses" approach to seatbelt enforcement during the effort. In Yamhill County that can mean a maximum penalty of $115 for failure to wear a seatbelt.
"You're safest when you buckle up, no matter what road or what speed you travel," Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson said. "Unfortunately, many families are suffering because their loved ones refused to follow this simple step."
On a national level, almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females in 2019. More than half of the males were not wearing seatbelts in fatal crashes; 40% of females killed in crashes were not wearing seatbelts.
"If our enforcement efforts help wake people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we'll consider our mission to be a success," Svenson said. "If you have a friend or a family member who drives unrestrained, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seatbelts save lives and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up."
For more information on Click It or Ticket, visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.
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