GENESEE COUNTY — remind everyone aboutTo the importance of buckling up, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is launching a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign that runs now through Nov. 29.
“Three out of four people ejected from a vehicle in a crash will die,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Wearing a seat belt is the simplest thing you can do to reduce injuries and save lives. It’s the easiest decision you will ever make. Buckle up every trip, every time.”
Officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police will be conducting seat belt enforcement across the state during the three-week period. The campaign includes the Thanksgiving holiday. During the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there were seven fatalities on Michigan roads. Four of the seven deaths involved drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts.
In Michigan, the seat belt usage rate stands at 94.4 percent. The national seat belt use rate in 2019 was 90.7 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved 14,955 lives nationwide in 2017. Seat belts are the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash. According to the NHTSA, buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by 45 percent.
Michigan law requires drivers, front-seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. The fine and associated costs for not wearing a seat belt is $65. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.
The OHSP coordinates the Click It or Ticket effort, which is supported by federal traffic safety funds. — G.G.