As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and more drivers hit the roads, law enforcement officials are reminding drivers of the importance of seat belt use.
The annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort begins today and runs through Nov. 29.
"During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we'll be working with our fellow law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the seat belt safety message gets out to all drivers and passengers," Garland County sheriff's Deputy Courtney Kizer, the department's public information officer, said in a news release.
"By far, buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life and devastating injuries that could've been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. That's why buckling up is more than just a good idea -- it's the law."
To kick off this year's mobilization effort, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking all states to participate in the Border to Border initiative, a one-day national seat belt awareness event on Monday coordinated by participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons.
The Border to Border initiative involves highly visible seat belt enforcement and provides seat belt fact sheets to drivers at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints, the release said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, there were 9,778 unbuckle-up vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. For that same year, 56% of the vehicle occupants killed between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts. One focus of the campaign is nighttime enforcement.