AUGUSTA—Together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) two-week “Click It or Ticket” campaign, the Maine “Buckle Up, No Excuses!” campaign kicks off on May 24. State police, municipal police and sheriff departments will be stepping up patrols through June 6.
These campaigns are intended to raise awareness about the importance of seat belt safety. “Our sole purpose is to save lives and raise awareness about the importance of always wearing your seat belt,” says Lauren Stewart, director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. “It’s takes just one second to make it click and it could save your life.”
Seat belts have been proven to be one of the best ways to save lives in a crash, yet many don’t buckle up. Impressionable youth who see adults not wearing seat belts may then think it is safe not to use seat belts.
Memorial Day kicks off the 100 deadliest days of summer when, on average, 260 teens are killed nationally in car crashes each month during the summer, an increase of 26 percent compared with the other months of the year.
According to NHTSA, there were 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the U.S. in 2019. In that same year, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt enforcement and education.