‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign underway to promote seat belt use, Sarasota Police Department announces

Initiative began May 14 and will continue through June 3

Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

As the unofficial start of summer, the Memorial Day weekend is a busy time for Americans, the Sarasota Police Department points out. “Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles, on their way to start their summer vacations,” a Police Department news release says.

To help keep drivers and passengers safe, the Sarasota Police Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national campaign beganMay 14 and will continue through June 3, “concurrent with the busy travel season,” the release points out.

“Buckling up is a simple task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” Officer Tim Bales of the department’s Traffic Unit said in the release. “But it’s more than that. Buckling up is the law,” he continued in the release. “Our law enforcement personnel see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life. Often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. This should be automatic.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data show that nearly half (48%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained, the release points out. From 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number climbed to 56% of those killed, the release adds. “That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement,” the release explains. “Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night,” the release notes.

“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” said Bales in the release. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up — every trip, every time.”

In an effort to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up year-round, the Sarasota Police Department created a public service announcement that may be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/7dNTa12X0so.