The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has kicked off its annual Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign.
The movement supports law enforcement efforts to increase seat belt use, which is mandatory in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.
“Safety is our top priority, and this department is proud to stand with local law enforcement officials to help spread the word about the importance of buckling up,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, in a statement.
Agency data shows there were 10,428 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States in 2016. If all passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 2,456 lives could have been saved.
Over 10,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide will be participating in the Click It or Ticketmobilization, from May 21 to June 3. To help prevent crash fatalities, NHTSA is reminding those who do not wear their seat belts that they risk getting a ticket.
“High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King, in a statement. “Always buckle up when you get in your vehicle, and make sure all passengers are buckled before you start driving. Remember Click It or Ticket.”
New television ads that will target young males 18 to 34. The age group represented 44 percent of the unrestrained occupants who were killed in crashes in 2016, according to the NHTSA.