May 19, 2008These days, automobiles are equipped with all kinds of amenities. DVD players, televisions, navigation devices, video games and satellite radios are just some of the many gadgets available for cars and trucks. One of the most valuable assets to any driver, however, is one of the most “old school” automobile items – the safety belt.
Drivers can certainly survive without backseat TVs and navigation devices, but in a crash, they might not make it without a safety belt. To help ensure the safety of the community, the University of Houston Department of Public Safety (UHDPS) is participating in the nationwide "Click It or Ticket" campaign May 19 – June 1.
“The goal of this campaign is to save lives,” said Richard Storemski, UH police lieutenant. “It’s a fact that wearing seat belts can mean the difference between life and death during an accident. It’s also a fact that UH Department of Public Safety officers will be on the lookout for drivers not wearing their seat belts.”
A key theme of this year’s Click it or Ticket campaign is focusing on drivers not wearing their safety belts at night.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that more than 77 percent of passenger vehicle occupants wearing safety belts survived serious crashes. It also reported that in 2005, more than 15,000 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Nearly two-thirds of those killed were not wearing their safety belts at the time of the crash.
Drivers who do not wear their safety belts can face fines up to $200, and based on NHSTA statistics, they may pay a much higher price.
“The campaign is not about tickets and fines. It’s about safety,” Storemski said. “We hope that everyone buckles up to avoid tickets from UHDPS and to remain safe.”
For more details on seatbelt safety and the Click it or Ticket campaign, visit www.nhtsa.gov.