NORRISTOWN, PA – Montgomery County, Pennsylvania municipal police departments and the Pennsylvania State Police will partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's (PennDOT) "Click it or Ticket" and national seat belt enforcement mobilization.
Enforcement mobilizations are nation-wide traffic safety efforts that focus on community education, civil laws, and law enforcement support, with the intention of saving lives. The theme for this mobilization is "Border to Border," and enforcement will be a Pennsylvania statewide effort to encourage all police departments to participate.
According to PennDOT, there were 9,115 motor vehicle crashes in Montgomery County in 2019. Of those crashes, 1,093 of them involved an unbuckled driver or passenger in a passenger car, van, SUV, small truck, or large truck. Eight of the 30 traffic fatalities for 2019 were unbuckled vehicle occupants.
The Division of Health Promotion will also hold virtual classes on child passenger safety, including seat belt safety education for children riding in booster seats and for adults wearing seat belts.
Wearing a seat belt while driving or riding as a passenger is the best defense against injury or death in the event of a motor vehicle crash. As seat belt increases the chances of surviving a crash up to 60%. Wearing a seat belt correctly in the front seat of a vehicle reduces the likelihood of a fatality by 45%. Despite that, far too many drivers and passengers refuse to buckle up.
Not wearing a seat belt as an adult is a habit that can be passed on to impressionable youth, who may choose not to buckle up as passengers and eventually as drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), child seat belt use drops by 40% when parents ride unbelted.
Seat belts are the greatest protection against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Though airbags are another safety feature that are designed to work with seat belts, they are not a replacement. Not wearing a seat belt during a crash could cause an individual to be thrown into a rapidly deployed airbag, resulting in injury or death. Being buckled up helps to keep everyone safe and secure inside the vehicle, instead of being ejected, which is almost always deadly.
To ensure proper seat belt use, all drivers and passengers should follow these guidelines from the NHTSA:
- The lap belt and shoulder belt should be secured across the pelvis and rib cage, which are better able to withstand crash forces than other parts of the body.
- The shoulder belt should be placed across the middle of the chest and away from the neck.
- The lap belts should rest across the hips, not the stomach.
- Always use, both parts of the seat belt should be proper placed. Never put the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm.
For more information about seat belt safety, click here
. To learn about Pennsylvania's seat belt laws, click here
. Click here
, or contact Community Traffic Safety Project Coordinator and Health Educator Elizabeth Gutman
to find out more about seat belt safety and other traffic safety initiatives and programs.