FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Law enforcement agencies in Allen County will conduct overtime patrols during the holidays, thanks to a $213,500 traffic safety improvement grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The funds, distributed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, are part of the state’s “Click It to Live It” program, which works to promote seat belt usage and reduce impaired driving – in an effort to prevent traffic injuries and fatal crashes in Indiana.
“The simple fact is, no matter who you are or what you drive, wearing your seat belt is one of the best ways to keep you and your family safe on the road,” said Robert Duckworth, Director of Traffic Safety, ICJI. “That’s why we’re asking all motorists to Click it to Live it this holiday season – it’s your life. Don’t wait to get pulled over.”
Millions of Americans will travel on highways across the nation during the holidays to visit family and friends.
With more vehicles on the road, the chances of being involved in a crash increase greatly.
According to the most recent data available, 53% of passengers killed in fatal crashes were not wearing seatbelts and 63.5% of speeding related fatalities were unrestrained.
To combat this and save lives, Indiana law enforcement will continue to enforce seat belt, speeding and other traffic laws, especially during the holiday season.
“Why do we enforce traffic laws? To prevent the crashes, injuries and deaths that hurt our community,” said Lt. Tony Maze of the Fort Wayne Police Department. “The holidays are all about spending time with friends and family, so don’t miss out on what makes this time of year so great. Buckle up—every seat, every time—and use a sober driver.”
Click it to Live it, It’s your Life
Indiana has a primary seat belt law, which means that police officers may ticket unrestrained drivers or passengers, even if no other traffic violation has taken place.
ICJI and the Purdue University Center for Road Safety estimate that in 2019 about 95% of Hoosiers buckle up.
But the small amount of drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts made up more than half of Indiana’s fatal crashes.
Parents and caregivers who don’t buckle up are more likely to have unbuckled kids as adults set the example.
Police say motor vehicle crashes are a leading and increasing cause of death for children 14 and younger.
In Indiana, all passengers under age 8 must be in an approved car seat or booster seat, and unrestrained children under 16 are the driver’s responsibility.
For more information about seat belts can be found here.
Choose the safest car seat for your child’s height and weight here.