Some things are just second nature to us. We are all, in some way, creatures of habit. But even though it seems like something you do instinctively, fastening your seat belt should be a concerted effort – something you think about and take very seriously.
Officers of the Portsmouth Police Department joined with officers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement officers from dozens of agencies throughout the tri-state area at Marshall University Football Stadium at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
The purpose of the gathering was the 2016 kickoff off the annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Click it or Ticket campaign. The campaign is designed to teach awareness of the added dangers of operating a motor vehicle without using the safety restraints that are provided with the vehicle.
Each year over 50 percent of those individuals who die as a result of traffic crashes are not using their seat belts. Statistics show that people who drive later in the day and at night are less likely to buckle up than any other time of the day. Statistics also show that those drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 have the highest rate (64 percent) of those killed in crashes are not buckled up.
While seat belt laws are in place and in effect throughout the year, the goal of the annual two week campaign is to gain higher compliance with seat belt laws through education and enforcement. Efforts will be put forth by all agencies to take additional education and enforcement actions both day and night during the period this year which runs from May 23, 2016 through June 5, 2016.
“The campaign is conducted in conjunction with the Memorial Day Weekend each year,” Operations Captain Lynn Brewer, of the Portsmouth Police Department, said. “This is a time when we pause to remember those we have lost in our lives. It is also the kick off of the summer travel season and period when many lives have been lost on America’s roadways.”
The Portsmouth Police Department will dedicate officer time during this enforcement period to make the effort a success for drivers, their families and the community. If the program is successful in saving just one life in the city or county it is well worth the effort put forth.
“We hope our efforts make individuals also pause to think about their loved ones today and what the loss of their life would mean to them,” Brewer said. “It is an effort by law enforcement to make everyone’s life a little happier and safer.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.