Seat belts saved an estimated 272 lives in Virginia in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Department is working to increase that number.
“Seat belt use is just too important to ignore,” Spotsylvania County Sheriff Roger Harris said in a press release. The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office is participating in the 2012 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization November 11 - 18.
“We want to stress that regularly buckling up works," said Harris. "We know of too many cases, largely at night, that too often end in tragedy because the people were not wearing seat belts," he said.
According to Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Traffic Records Electronic Data System (TREDS), preliminary 2011 statistics show of the total of 765 fatalities, 306 of them were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
Of the total unrestrained fatalities (306):
- 93 (30.39 percent) were between midnight and 6 a.m.
- 65 of those 93 occurred between midnight and 3 a.m.
“Our goal is to save more lives, so the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office will be out enforcing ALL traffic laws, including seat belt use around the clock,” said Harris.
Virginia’s seat belt use rate is at about 81.8 percent, according to Harris. That's up from 80.5 percent in 2010. Harris says there is still much work to do. He estimated an additional 112 lives could be saved with 100 percent seat belt use.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from November 11 - 18, Harris said motorists should know officers enforce traffic laws, including seat belt laws, year-round.
"Everyone in the vehicle should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night,” said Harris. “Our deputies are prepared to ticket anyone who is violating the law, no warnings and no excuses. Click It or Ticket,” he said.