EUSTIS — The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) wants everyone to arrive safely at their destination this holiday season, by reminding residents to drive carefully, don’t drive impaired and to buckle up each and every trip, night or day. Drivers and passengers should also be on the lookout, as local law enforcement will be out in force from November 15-28 sending the strong message to “Click it or Ticket” during this Thanksgiving Holiday safety campaign.
“No one wants to start the holidays off wrong with a ticket,” said Noble Olasimbo, Chairman of the Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team. “Save your money for your holiday festivities – don’t throw it away simply because you failed to buckle up.”
While seat belt use is at a record high of 83 percent nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on any given day about 38 passenger vehicle occupants who are not buckled up are killed in motor vehicle crashes.
In 2008 alone, nearly 13,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways. It is estimated that nearly one third of these lives could have been saved if they had been properly belted. NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle up are teens; young adults; males; nighttime riders; motorists traveling on rural roads; and individuals traveling in pickup trucks.
“Sadly, the holidays, which for many are the happiest time of the year, are also one of the deadliest and most tragic,” said Sgt. Thomas McKane, Lake County Sheriff’s Office & Co-Chairman of the Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team. “Wearing a seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it could you cost you a ticket or worse, your life. We want all drivers and passengers to ‘Click It or Ticket’, day and night.”
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA. 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.
For more information about the “Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign for highway safety during the holidays, log on to www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov. For more information about the Lake County Community Safety Traffic Team, contact Cheryl Sutherland at (352) 483-9048.