NHTSA launches annual Click It or Ticket initiative

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched its annual Click It or Ticket initiative, the national seat belt enforcement mobilization which emphasizes seat belts save lives.

NHTSA officials said the endeavor joins state seat belt law enforcement with an $8 million public awareness advertising campaign on television, radio, web and social media in both English and Spanish.  The ads began Nov. 9 and are slated to run through Nov. 29. Enforcement mobilization will be from Nov. 16-29.

“Seat belts save thousands of lives each year, and the Department’s Click It or Ticket initiative is a critical reminder that drivers should wear a seat belt every time they get behind the wheel,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

According to the NHTSA, in 2017 seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives while from 2013 to 2017, seat belts saved almost 70,000 lives.

Meanwhile, authorities noted in 2018 nearly half of the 22,697 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were unbuckled, determining 52 percent of male passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing a seat belt in comparison to 39 percent of women. 

“Seat belts save lives – but only if they’re worn,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said. 

“Click It or Ticket reminds everyone to wear their seat belt every trip, every time, and officers will be patrolling our roads to enforce these lifesaving laws.”

Findings from a National Occupant Protection Use Survey revealed seat belt use continued to be lower for males at 87.7 percent versus female use of 92 percent  in 2018.