If you're not wearing your seat belt in Dalton ... or anywhere else in Georgia ... your chances of getting a ticket just increased. The "Click It Or Ticket" campaign is once again underway in Georgia, running from May 21st until June 3rd to coincide with the busy Memorial Day travel weekend. The national mobilization of law enforcement officers targets seat belt use by motorists with both enforcement and education.
There's a good reason why law enforcement agencies are so concerned with seat belt use. Statitstics show that wearing your seat belt will save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 12,546 passengers' lives were saved nationwide in 2010 just because they buckled up. Unfortunately, not everyone is getting the message. Data from the NHTSA also shows that 51% of all passengers involved in crashes lost their life because they were not buckled up. Your chances of making it out of a car alive without the use of a seat belt get even worse once day turns to night. NHSTA reasearch shows 61% of passengers killed during the hours of 6PM and 6AM were not wearing their seatbelt compared to 42% during the day.
A recent survey completed during daylight hours by the Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit showed that the percentage of seatbelt use in the city of Dalton was at 85%. This is well below the state average of 90%. The TEU conducted a nighttime study in October 2011 showing that only 80% of motorists in Dalton were wearing seat belts.
As part of our effort to reduce the number of serious injuries from traffic crashes, the Dalton Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the country in the "Click It Or Ticket" mobilization. The DPD's Traffic Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division will be conducting special operations to enforce Georgia’s occupant safety laws both day and night during the mobilization. Officers will be using road checks and concentrated patrols as tools to spot motorists violating seatbelt and child restraint laws in an effort to limit the number of serious injury or fatality car crashes.
Remember: any front seat driver or passenger of any passenger vehicle including pickup trucks in operation on Georgia's public roadways must wear a seatbelt. Further, any passenger of a vehicle under 18 years of age must wear a seatbelt no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. All children under the age of 8 years of age must be placed in an approved Child Safety Restraint. Motorists should also be aware that not wearing a seatbelt correctly with the shoulder belt across the chest will not give the passenger any protection if the vehicle that they are an occupant of is involved in a crash. That was your warning. Officers won't be giving any during traffic stops.
As always, the Dalton Police Department urges all drivers to slow down, buckle up, and drive sober not just during "Click It Or Ticket", but ALWAYS.