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Click It or Ticket: Law Enforcement Savings Lives and Preventing Injuries

The Click It or Ticket/Operation ABC Mobilization plays a critical role in the effort to keep people safe on our nation’s roads and highways. Law enforcement agencies nationwide, including the Mobridge Police Department, are conducting Click It or Ticket campaigns that incorporate zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws with a special emphasis on teens. These efforts — coupled with paid advertising and the support of government agencies, local coalitions and school officials — result in dramatic increases in safety belt use and will defend us against one of the greatest threats to us all — traffic crashes.

Here’s a quick look at Click It or Ticket:

What Is Click It or Ticket?
It is a high-publicity law enforcement effort that gives people more of a reason to buckle up — the increased threat of a traffic ticket. Most people buckle up for safety. But for some people, it is the threat of the ticket that spurs them to put on a safety belt. In Click It or Ticket programs, law enforcement agencies are being asked to mobilize to focus on safety belt violations and publicize the stepped-up effort through news media and advertising. It is the two-pronged approach that makes these campaigns powerful: Not only are tickets issued to unbelted motorists, but the surrounding publicity ensures that people know they are more likely to get a ticket.

Do Click It or Ticket efforts work?
Click It or Ticket campaigns and similar efforts have increased safety belt use in cities, States and even in an entire region of the country. In May 2002, for example, the 10 States that conducted the most comprehensive Click It or Ticket efforts saw the biggest gains, increasing safety belt use by an average of 8.6 percentage points from 68.5 percent to 77.1 percent over a four-week period. The national average is 75 percent. States that increased safety belt law enforcement without publicizing the effort achieved only an average gain of half a percentage point.

Why are law enforcement officers concentrating on teens during the Mobilization?
Teens are at the greatest risk of being killed or injured in traffic crashes. In 2001, 3,322 teens were killed in motor vehicles crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is nine teens a day. Many of these deaths could easily be prevented by the consistent use of safety belts. Sixty-five percent of the young people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing a safety belt.

Why is law enforcement participation critical?
Safety belt enforcement is not about writing tickets, but about saving lives. There have been many incidents where an officer issued a citation to someone who wasn’t buckled up or didn’t have his or her child properly fastened in a child safety seat — only to have that person or child survive a serious crash shortly after the ticket was issued.

More information

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