“The choice is a simple one - wear your seatbelt and reduce your chances of being injured in a crash,” says Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Or, you can choose not to and pay the ultimate price – with your life - because you didn’t take two seconds to fasten your seatbelt. It costs you nothing to buckle up – but the cost could be much greater for your family and your loved ones if you don’t.”
Sadly, as of Oct. 31, 2011, at least 257 men, women and children who were unrestrained by a seatbelt died in traffic crashes in Virginia. Last year, 307 unbuckled individuals lost their lives in traffic crashes on Virginia’s roads.* According to traffic crash data, death rates are more than eight times higher when a driver or passenger is not buckled or restrained
With the kick-off of the November Click-It-or-Ticket campaign and as troopers enforce traffic laws across the Commonwealth, motorists can expect to see extra attention being paid to whether or not a seatbelt is being worn by law enforcement officers.
“Rest assured, if our trooper stops you for a traffic violation and you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, you will be given a summons,” adds Colonel Flaherty.
Statewide, last year, Virginia State Police troopers issued 26,797 citations for adults who failed to buckle up, and 7,135 summonses to adults who did not properly secure their infants or children in a child safety.
In 2010, Virginia’s recorded seatbelt use rate was 81 percent. Unfortunately, that means 19 percent of the population made the conscious choice not to wear a seatbelt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.**