As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, Iowa law enforcement officers are urging everyone to buckle up. Law enforcement officers will be out in full force as part of the 2013 National Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization cracking down on motorists who are not belted as well as other traffic violators. While this Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20 through June 2, officers are enforcing seat belt laws year-round.
“As we kick off the busy summer driving season, it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night, no excuses,” TP Coordinator with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau Randy Hunefeld said. “Officers are prepared to ticket anyone not wearing a seat belt — Click It or Ticket.”
According to the U.S. D.O.T.’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 weren’t wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. According to NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 during the hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. weren’t wearing seat belts. In 2011, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide according to NHTSA.
In 2012, Iowa had 364 fatalities and according to Iowa D.O.T. data, 167 of those victims, or 45.88 percent, were unbuckled. For those killed in crashes at night, over 60 percent were not wearing seat belts.
Iowa has had a seat belt law since July 1, 1986.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many Iowans still ride unbelted, especially at night when the risk of a crash is even greater,” Hunefeld said.
During the four-day March 2012 sTEP wave, 205 agencies and 1,828 officers reported 16,922 traffic violations, investigated 388 traffic crashed and assisted 879 motorists.
For more on the National Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit www.nhtsa.gov or contact Randy Hunefeld at (515) 725-6124.