U.P. to step up seat belt enforcement

Oswego State University Police will join "Click It or Ticket" 2010 with stepped up enforcement of seatbelt violations from May 1 to May 15.

The national "Click It or Ticket" campaign this year will take place from May 24 to June 6, however, University Police will be conducting their dedicated enforcement earlier to coincide with the end of the spring semester.

"Local motorists should be prepared for stepped up "Click It or Ticket" activities that will take place around the clock," University Police Lt. Kevin Velzy said. "If University Police find you on the road unbuckled anytime, day or night, you can expect a ticket, not a warning. No excuses and no exceptions."

High-visibility enforcement such as the "Click It or Ticket" mobilization is credited with increasing the national seat belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 84 percent in 2009.

Seat belts use save thousands of lives each year across America. In 2008 alone, they saved 13,250 lives nationwide. In 2008, 12,671 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Sixty-four percent of those who died were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crashes, compared to less than half (45%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed during daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Nighttime drivers and passengers continue to be among those most likely to die in motor vehicle crashes, so expect enforcement to be stepped up after dark.