NHP on lookout for drivers not wearing seat belts

If you think you’ve noticed an increased law enforcement presence on Nevada’s roads and highways lately, you’re not just imagining things.

The Nevada Highway Patrol announced last week the agency has teamed up with local law enforcement agencies across the state for the “Click it or Ticket” campaign, which runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 10, to educated motorists on the life-saving importance of wearing their seat belts.

The campaign is reportedly designed to remind drivers that seat belts can save lives and that failing to wear one could cost motorists not only fines and fees, but could result in serious injury as well.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 percent of car crashes occur within a five-mile radius of home, and nearly 70 percent of accidents happen within 10 miles of home.

The administration also notes wearing a seat belt can double a driver or passenger’s chances of surviving a crash.

“Buckling up — something that takes literally two seconds — can be the difference between life and serious injury, or even death, in a crash,” said Trooper Loy Hixson in a statement on the “Click it or Ticket it” campaign. “We encourage drivers to fasten their seat belts before they start the car, and to enforce this rule with passengers to ensure everyone is buckled before taking off.”

During the enforcement period, police will be looking for drivers who “fake it” by rushing to fasten their seat belts when they are pulled over for another offense.

Although NHP reports 91 percent of drivers and passengers in Nevada reportedly use their seat belts, which is more than the national average of 86 percent, this enforcement campaign will target the last 9 percent of people who do not. The intent is to educate those individuals, who reportedly make up 43 percent of all fatalities on Nevada roadways, on the importance of buckling up.

Nevada Joining Forces is a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement program that promotes statewide enforcement of seat belt use, DUI, distracted driving, speed and pedestrian safety.

According to NHP, during this campaign last year Nevada’s Joining Forces partners made 4,801 stops statewide, citing 3,986 adults and 95 teens. Additionally, 328 adults were issued citations for improperly restraining children.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign is the reportedly the nation’s most successful seat belt compliance effort, significantly raising awareness and seat belt usage since its inception. For more information about seat belt use and Nevada’s Zero Fatalities program visit ZeroFatalitiesNV.com/buckle.

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