GHSA Chairman Christopher J. Murphy at a national Click It or Ticket press conference, May 16, 2007.
Click It or Ticket
May 21 - June 3
- NHTSA Press Release: Nighttime Seat Belt Violators To Be Targeted During National Click It or Ticket Crackdown (May 16, 2007)
- Dispelling the Top Ten Reasons for Not Buckling Up
- National Newspaper Ad [65 KB, 1 pg.]
In May 2007, GHSA member State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) partnered with state and local law enforcement and other highway safety organizations to launch an aggressive national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization to crack down on low seat belt use and to reduce highway fatalities—with a new emphasis on convincing more motorists to buckle up day and night. Stepped-up law enforcement activities were conducted during the national enforcement mobilization, which ran May 21-June 3. The mobilization was supported by a projected $10 million in paid national advertising and additional advertising in many states.
More than 15,000 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes between 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. during 2005, according to NHTSA, and 59 percent of those killed were NOT wearing their seat belts. The proportion of unbuckled deaths at night is considerably higher than the 44 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were not wearing their seat belts and were killed during daytime hours that same year.
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Yet nearly one in five Americans (19 percent nationally) still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle according to NHTSA’s observational seat belt studies.
For a list of seat belt laws by state, check out GHSA's Seat Belt Law chart.
Examples of specific state efforts are listed below. To find out what enforcement activities are occurring in your state, contact the public information officer for your State Highway Safety Office.
- California—Across California, the Click It or Ticket message will be on billboards, bus shelters and roadway signs. In addition to the hundreds of permanent signs, one for every fifty miles of highway, the California Department of Transportation and Department of Motor Vehicles will be placing the message on all LED and changeable message signs. That’s over 325 signs on the busiest highways in the nation. 270 local agencies that are part of the mobilization in California are being encouraged to publicize their local efforts.
Delaware—Delaware has found a unique way to reward responsible behavior with their Click It for Tickets program, partnering with Dover International Speedway and TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management). During the campaign, anyone 16 or older buckled up at safety checkpoints will get a chance to win tickets to the June 3 NASCAR Nextel Cup Race at the Speedway. (Anyone not buckled up at a checkpoint still gets the ticket.) At the track, fans can sign a buckle up pledge and register to win tickets to a later race. They can also record a Buckle Up PSA (which will be made available online) and get their picture taken and put in a frame decorated with sponsor logos and the Click It or Ticket campaign name.
Other Delaware initiatives include expanded night time enforcement and a focus on increasing teen seat belt use. Delaware is sending letters to all school superintendents and high school principals encouraging participation in CIOT. Principals will also receive a packet with sample morning announcements, posters, and information on getting a Buckle Up Stencil painted at the exit to the school grounds.
Louisiana—Louisiana's law enforcement officers will work hundreds of hours of overtime conducting special patrols and check points to enforce the state's mandatory seat belt use law. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has provided grants to participating agencies to pay for more than 2,000 hours of overtime throughout the campaign.
Louisiana will also air extensive television ads alerting motorists about the stepped-up enforcement.
The ads feature hard-hitting 30-second spots that show law enforcement officers warning motorists that the seat belt law will be strictly enforced. One of the spots, called "Heaven Can Wait," features a family in a crash and demonstrates how a decision not to buckle up can affect the survivors.
Louisiana anticipates the campaign will help reverse a recent decline in seat belt use. "Last year's decline reinforces what we already knew: that strict enforcement and strong messages in the media are effective strategies for getting motorists to buckle up," said Col. James E. Champagne, executive director of the Commission. "The New Orleans and Lake Charles areas-both hit by devastating hurricanes in 2005-had the steepest declines in seat belt use last year." The crises created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left police and sheriff's departments in those areas with less time and manpower to enforce the seat belt law.
Maryland—In Maryland, law enforcement personnel from nearly 110 agencies and state police barracks have been participating in the Maryland Chiefs' Challenge program since April 3. This two-month initiative, designed to increase public awareness of the lifesaving benefits of seat belt and child safety seat use, culminates in the two-week Click It or Ticket Mobilization. Television stations around the state will be playing two types of public service announcements—the NHTSA Click It or Ticket/Day and Night ads, as well as localized spots utilizing law enforcement personnel from each participating agency.
Four radio stations in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas have been airing promotional ads and encouraging listeners to sign buckle up pledges and be eligible to win fantastic (donated) prizes, such as a trip to Dover Speedway in Delaware for the June NASCAR race, an all-expenses-paid trip to see Beyonce perform in Las Vegas, or even a pickup truck! Additional air time—including free public affairs interviews and other PSAs—is being provided by other radio and TV stations as a result of partnerships developed by local law enforcement personnel.
Two large-scale media events, one at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and one at the Delmarva Shorebirds stadium on the Eastern Shore, are planned for the week of May 21. Both will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Maryland's primary enforcement seat belt law and provide crash stories from Saved By the Belt survivors. These media events will also alert the public to the Click It or Ticket mobilization, during which more than 100 seat belt enforcement zones, border-to-border enforcement efforts, and nighttime enforcement initiatives will take place throughout the state.
- Washington—The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) has received special federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to organize and evaluate seat belt enforcement patrols that take place during the nighttime hours. The Nighttime Seat Belt Enforcement (NTSBE) patrols will be funded with Click It or Ticket overtime grants and publicized with earned media and advertising. The large-scale, night time seat belt enforcement patrols are scheduled to take place: May 21 - June 3, 2007, in October of 2007 and in May of 2008. Between these large-scale enforcement campaigns, WTSC will fund smaller, nighttime seat belt enforcement projects supported by earned media publicity. A total of $1 million has been set aside for law enforcement overtime funding for this project.
- Wisconsin—To save lives and prevent serious injuries on Wisconsin roads, more than 300 law enforcement agencies will mobilize for Click It or Ticket from May 21 to June 3. This year's Click It or Ticket campaign will be the largest coordinated law enforcement mobilization ever in Wisconsin. Officers will be patrolling in greater numbers and for longer hours to enforce the state's mandatory seat belt law.
For more information on the national Click It or Ticket campaign, visit NHTSA's website at www.nhtsa.gov/link/ciot.htm.