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As summer travel nears, seat belt usage emphasized
Click It or Ticket

The Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Network and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are asking all motorists to make this summer a safe travel season by buckling their seat belt before every trip, whether sitting in the front or back seat.

The Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Network is joining sheriff’s offices, police departments, and the Georgia State Patrol to enforce seat belt, speeding, DUI, distracted driving, and all traffic laws during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement and awareness mobilization from May 17th - June 6th.

The annual “Click It or Ticket” seat belt mobilization takes place during the Memorial Day holiday weekend when many people are taking their first trip of the summer. According to NHTSA, almost 25 percent of the state’s yearly traffic deaths over a five-year period from 2015-19 happen during June, July, and August.

“Our officers see too many people who were not wearing seat belts die or get seriously injured in traffic crashes, and that is why these same officers enforce Georgia’s seat belt law every day,” Captain William L. Hires, CATEN Coordinator said. According to statistics 60% of the 2021 fatalities were not properly using seat belts, Hires said. “The more people who choose to wear a seat belt means fewer families we have to notify that a loved one has been killed or seriously injured in a traffic crash.”

According to NHTSA, there were 9,466 unbuckled people riding in passenger vehicles who were killed in crashes in the United States in 2019. Of the young adults aged 18 to 34 who were killed in passenger vehicle crashes in 2019, 57 percent were completely unrestrained.

The belief that persons do not need to wear a seat belt sitting in the back seat of a vehicle is false. In 2019, 58 percent of persons sitting in the back seat killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt, and 45 percent of front-seat passengers killed in crashes were unrestrained.

There were also more people killed in passenger vehicle crashes in rural areas than urban areas in 2019. According to NHTSA, there were 11,971 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural areas in the United States and 10,187 fatalities in urban locations.

“With more vehicles expected on the road during the summer, it is important for everyone to wear their seat belt on every trip and for kids under eight to be in a properly installed child safety seat as required by law,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. “No one knows what will happen when we are traveling, but a properly worn seat belt offers the best protection in the event of a traffic crash.”

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Network offer these safe driving tips:

1. Drive the speed limit. Speeding only increases the chances of being in a crash.

2. Do not try to make up time by speeding. Studies show speeding does not get you to your destination faster.

3. Keep your focus on the road by avoiding distractions such as the electronic devices, conversations with passengers, eating, grooming and daydreaming.

4. Set mirrors and navigation devices before getting on the road.

5. Do not drive after drinking. Pass the keys to a sober driver.

NHTSA also recommends having your tires checked at least once a year to make sure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread. One out of every four cars on the road has at least one tire that is significantly underinflated. Tires should be rotated on most vehicles every 5,000-8,000 miles. Proper tire maintenance may not only save lives, but it can also save about eleven cents per gallon of fuel.

More information can be found at

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