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November 12, 2010
Avoid Becoming Another Statistic in Virginia — Buckle Up to Save Your Life
Virginia State Police, local law enforcement will participate in November 'Click It or Ticket' campaign

RICHMOND – It is easy, takes minimal effort, and is the most effective way to reduce injury or death in a crash. What is this hassle-free device? Your seatbelt and it can prevent you from being the next fatal statistic in Virginia. Unfortunately, as of Oct. 15, 2010, at least 246 men, women and children who failed to buckle up have died in traffic crashes in Virginia.*

Beginning, Sunday Nov. 14, 2010, through Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010, Virginia State Police will join local law enforcement in a statewide, high-visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement effort. The traffic safety project is an educational and enforcement program aimed at increasing seatbelt use in Virginia with the goal of saving lives. In 2009, Virginia experienced the highest recorded seatbelt use rate at 82 percent. Regrettably, that left another 28 percent of Virginians making the conscious decision to risk their lives by not wearing a seatbelt. Last year, 333 unbuckled individuals lost their lives in a traffic crash on Virginia’s roads.*

“Wrapping your seatbelt around you is the simplest way to save your life,” says Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Whether it’s during the day or at night, it only takes a few seconds to buckle up. There is no excuse not too. Most Virginians know the lifesaving measures this simple act offers, but if you don’t and you get caught, you will get a ticket.”

Virginia State Police will utilize troopers to participate in the week-long, strict enforcement Click-It-or-Ticket mobilization. As troopers enforce traffic laws, Virginians can expect to see particular attention paid to whether or not a seatbelt is being worn. State Police and Drive Smart Virginia are encouraging all motorists to take the time to secure their children, a loved one and themselves with their safety belts. “If something could help save your life in a traffic crash, why wouldn’t you use it?” said Janet Brooking, Executive Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia. “So many lives can be saved or injuries reduced if everyone would buckle up.”

What You Should Know About Seatbelts: **

  • Air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them
  • Lap belts and shoulder belts are secured across the pelvis and rib cage and are able to withstand crash forces than other parts of your body
  • Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm
  • If you’re expecting a little one, log onto the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website to learn how important it is for you — and your unborn child — to buckle up the right way every trip, every time


* DMV, Virginia Highway Safety Office
** National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)