Initiative will continue through June 5
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the Sarasota Police Department are participating in the National Click It or Ticket Enforcement Campaign, which is designed to save lives and remind motorists that Florida law requires them to buckle up, a Sheriff’s Office news release says.
Through June 5, law enforcement agencies throughout the United States “are intensifying efforts to enforce seatbelt laws for all motorists,” around the clock, the release adds, noting that the initiative began on May 23. “Failing to wear seatbelts is a primary violation and will cost drivers $116,” the release points out.
“In Florida, all motorists are required to buckle up when riding in the front seat, and passengers under the age of 18 must use proper seat restraints regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle,” the release notes.
“The number of traffic crashes in Sarasota County is up in 2016 compared to this time last year,” the release continues. Twenty-two traffic fatalities were recorded through the end of April, also an increase over the 2015 figure, the release says.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) younger drivers are the most likely to be unbuckled in a fatal crash, the release continues. NHTSA data also shows men are more likely to be unbuckled than females in a fatal crash.
A Police Department news release points out that research has shown the use of lap and shoulder belts reduces the risk of fatal injuries to front-seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injuries by 50 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Police Department officers have increased patrols to look for impaired or intoxicated drivers, seatbelt and child-restraint violators, aggressive drivers, those who are speeding or texting and drivers committing everyday traffic violations, the release adds.
In an effort to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up year-round, the Sarasota Police Department also created a public service announcement, which may be viewed on its YouTube page at http://youtu.be/3piuZh6I7mc.