'Click It' Campaign to Target Nighttime Seat Belt Violators

The odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash triple at night, which is when seat belt use declines substantially, according to new research released yesterday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason also launched this year's Click It or Ticket campaign yesterday and said it will focus on nighttime seat belt use.

"It's alarming that fewer people are buckling up at night, a time when the odds of being killed in a motor vehicle crash triple. This year, law enforcement officials will be ticketing violators who are not wearing their seat belts, especially during the evening hours," Nason said. The NHTSA study found that in 2005, more than 15,000 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and nearly two-thirds of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Survey data also indicate nighttime seat belt use is often 10 percent lower than the nationwide average, 82 percent, for daytime belt use.

"The annual Click It or Ticket campaign has helped increase seat belt use for over a decade, but despite these gains, too many of our family and friends continue to die on our roadways," said Nason. "Not wearing your seat belt, day or night, is a huge and unnecessary gamble." The campaign will take place from May 21 to June 3 and is supported by a $30 million national and state advertising campaign.

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