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Authorities ready for Click It or Ticket

Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware.  The 2012 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicks off Monday to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.

Deputies with the Butler County Sheriff’s Department and officers with the Greenville Police Department are joining with other state law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.

Motorists can expect to notice an increase in officers, both during the day and at night, as part of the two-week, high-visibility crackdown. The campaign will run through June 3.

“We’ll be out making sure that everyone is buckled up properly,” Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram said.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.

NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide.

Yet, too many motorists may need a tough reminder. In 2010, 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA, and 51 percent of them were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.

Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk.  NHTSA data shows that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, ages 18-34, who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash – the highest percentage of any age group.  The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.

For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.