JEFFERSON CITY - As summer heats up, so does safety belt enforcement. Law enforcement officers are cracking down on unbelted drivers May 20-June 2 for an aggressive national "Click It or Ticket" campaign.
Even with all the advancements in automobile safety and education on the importance of seat belt use, Missouri's seat belt use remains relatively unchanged at 79 percent, and consistently below the national average of 86 percent.
Through this campaign the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety will remind Missourians to buckle up, day and night, through state and national advertisements.
"Fifty-three percent of Missouri fatalities since the first of the year have been unbuckled vehicle occupants," said Colonel Ron Replogle, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Seat belts clearly save lives. But unfortunately, too many folks still need a tough reminder, so we will be out enforcing a zero tolerance on those not buckling up."
In 2012, 394 people killed in traffic crashes were not wearing a safety belt.
Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities in a crash because it provides protection from being ejected and keeps motorists from smashing into windshields, dashboards and other passengers. When worn correctly, seat belts can reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent.
"You are gambling with your life each time you drive without a safety belt," said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Wearing a safety belt can save your life."
For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit http://www.savemolives.com/, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives. Arrive Alive.