Ahead of the official summer kickoff, Memorial Day, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program — an arm of the N.C. Department of Transportation — has started its “Click It or Ticket” initiative as of Monday, May 23. The campaign will conclude June 5.
Law enforcement will be patrolling all 100 counties across North Carolina to ensure drivers and passengers are safely buckled inside. This goes for those operating a vehicle, as well as passengers in the front and back seats.
“Although citizens could face a citation and fines for not wearing their seatbelt, the real goal here is saving lives,” Mark Ezzell, director of Governor’s Highway Safety Program, said in a press release.
According to the release, 555 North Carolinians lost their lives in vehicle crashes in 2021 due to not wearing seatbelts. Of that, nearly 30 perished during last year’s Click It or Ticket campaign.
“Your chances of being killed or seriously injured in a car crash are reduced by nearly half when you wear a seatbelt,” Ezzell continued in the release.
By law, all passengers in a vehicle in North Carolina must be properly buckled in or face fines up to $180 if in violation.
Children younger than 8 years and under 80 pounds must be secured in an approved child safety or booster seat. The fine is $266 for any passenger improperly restrained under 16 years of age.
Click It or Ticket launched in 1993 at a time when 64% of North Carolinians used seatbelts, which has increased to around 90% today.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Program provides grants to law enforcement agencies for various traffic safety initiatives, including campaigns like Click It or Ticket.
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