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Partnership Policing Communications Coordinator (PIO)
Desk Phone: 941-954-7094
Click It or Ticket Campaign Reminds Drivers: Buckle Up May 22 – June 4, and Every Day
The Sarasota Police Department urges drivers to buckle up during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign coincides with the Memorial Day holiday from May 22 to June 4, 2023.
“We want seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike,” said Officer Tim Bales, Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit. “It’s not just a safe thing to do, it’s the law. During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll work with our fellow law enforcement officers across the City of Sarasota to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. 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. So often, it could have been prevented,” said Officer Bales.
According to NHTSA, in 2021, 11,813 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in the United States. That same year, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing seat belts. That’s why the Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will take a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In the City of Sarasota, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $116.
“No matter the type of vehicle you’re driving in or the type of road you’re driving on, the safest way to stay safe in case of a vehicle crash is to wear your seat belt,” said Officer Bales. “Unfortunately, many families suffer because their loved ones refuse to follow this simple step,” said Officer Bales.
NHTSA data shows that seat belt use is higher among women than men. Nearly twice as many men were killed in crashes as compared to women in 2021. Of the men killed in crashes during that same year, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For women killed in crashes, 42% were not buckled up.
“If the enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission a success,” said Officer Bales. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed for not buckling up. Seat belts save lives, and everyone, front seat and back, child and adult, needs to remember to buckle up.”