State cracks down on overnight seat belt use

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 8:52pm
Staff reports

The Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office is joining hundreds of law enforcement officials and safety advocates nationwide to remind motorists that safety belts do save lives during the annual Click It or Ticket education and enforcement campaign.

Law enforcement agencies will conduct special nighttime Click It or Ticket enforcement and education efforts through June 6.

Click It or Ticket events like these are credited with increasing the national seat belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 84 percent in 2009. In Tennessee, seat belt usage has increased from 59 percent in 2000 to 81.5 percent in 2008.

“It’s just plain common sense. Wearing a safety belt greatly increases the chance you will survive a crash,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “Statistics show more people not buckled up die in crashes at night, which is why TDOT is supporting enhanced nighttime enforcement of safety belt laws during this Click It or Ticket campaign.”

More than half of people killed in passenger vehicle crashes in 2009 in Tennessee were not wearing a safety belt, according to preliminary figures, and more unrestrained deaths occurred during nighttime hours. Preliminary 2009 numbers show 216 unbelted people died during nighttime hours while 195 motorists not buckled up died during the daytime hours.

Nationally, 12,671 people died in passenger vehicle crashes at night between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of those who died were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crashes, compared to less than half, 45 percent, of the people who died in passenger vehicle crashes during the day between 6 a.m. and 5:59 p.m.


Filed under: City News

7 Comments on this post:

By: dangerlover on 6/3/10 at 8:38

Ok, statistics show that safety belts save more lives than take them, but in 10% of fatal accidents, if the driver had not been wearing their safety belt, they would have lived. I understand it's the law, and it makes sense, but it should be our choice.

By: richgoose on 6/4/10 at 3:03

I guess we all have certain laws that we think are ridiculous. The seat belt law is mine.

By: dargent7 on 6/4/10 at 5:05

"Click it or Ticket" is a thinly veiled attempt to perform an "illegal search a siezure".
The cops started this b.s. 20 years ago. Then, they couldn't pull you over for "just" a seat belt violation, but could add it in the ticket.
Now, the seat belt alone is 'probable cause".
Once pulled over, the cop goes thru the litany of possible violations...license, regs, insurance, green card (AZ), open containers, texting, a hooker in the front seat ( my personal favorite ).
Ever watch "COPS" on TV? A tail light is out and the cop pulls the guy over and "Eureka!" Everyone goes to jail, the cars impounded.

By: conservarage on 6/4/10 at 6:36

TN Highway Safety Office - 'we WILL raise revenues!'

By: PKVol on 6/4/10 at 7:10

I love how d7 has a problem with authority. How else are the police gonna get the bad guys and gals? Would you prefer one on every block to catch crimes as they happen?

"When I fight authority, authority always wins"

By: dargent7 on 6/4/10 at 10:02

PKV: I love authority. I just don't care much for the abuse of the Bill of Rights.

By: MetalMan on 6/6/10 at 7:45

What a crock. Just another government violation of personal freedom. If the THP really wants to make the highways safer, they ought to be searching for illegal Mexicans cruising the highways in their tinted window low-riders.