FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 2009
It’s CLICK IT OR TICKET time in Georgia! And if you’re one of those motorists who thinks the law doesn’t apply to you, then Georgia traffic enforcement officers are once again launching their statewide campaign to
save you from preventable injuries and even death. Hundreds of police agencies statewide will be running roadchecks
day and night this November to track down drivers and passengers who don’t bother to buckle-up when the sun goes down.
When national safety experts studied nationwide fatality stats, they made a startling discovery. The National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration has released their 2008 findings that show 64-percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed
during nighttime crashes were NOT wearing their safetybelts. In comparison, 46-percent of daytime crash fatalities were unbuckled. What’s more, nighttime is also the most deadly driving time during the national Thanksgiving travel
period. Of the 231 after-dark crash fatalities during the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday period, 67-percent were riding with
unfastened seat belts, while 40-percent of fatalities during daytime crashes were unbuckled.
So police are offering another crash-course in road-reality this Thanksgiving. They know the alarming nationwide
nighttime highway death toll in 2008 claimed the lives of 12,671 Americans. They also know 568 Georgians died here in
2008 simply because they didn’t click-it. And that’s why we ticket. More than half the Georgians killed in car crashes
in 2008 were NOT wearing safetybelts. What are your odds? Nationwide 25,351 people were killed in traffic crashes last year.
“While you may grumble under your breath about the five minutes it takes for an officer to see your license and proof of
insurance at a seatbelt safety check during Click It or Ticket, we can guarantee that officer who’s writing your safetybelt citation is thinking about all the crash scenes where the three-second process of buckling a seatbelt could have saved a
life,” says Director Bob Dallas of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). “Sadly, in 2008, 136 more Georgia lives could have been saved if all drivers and passengers wore seatbelts at the time of serious crashes.” In 2008 alone, seat belts saved more than 13-thousand American lives! And yet, nearly one-in-five Americans still fail to wear their safetybelts whether driving or riding. The result? In 2008 an additional 4,152 lives could have been saved
nationwide if seat belts were worn at the time of the crash. “Young male drivers are at the highest risk, but our research
shows that traffic ticket is sometimes the only motivation to make that lifesaving decision,” says GOHS Director Dallas. “That is why we say, If You Don’t Click It, Expect a Ticket.”
National highway safety research data shows the good news is regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to
protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. When lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the
risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers is reduced by 45-percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury is
reduced by 50-percent!
But too many Georgians still need a tough reminder. State Law authorizes enforcement officers to write safety belt
tickets by simply observing unbelted drivers or passengers. So State Troopers, GSP NightHawk Patrols, and H.E.A.T. Units will roll-out high visibility enforcement measures during the Thanksgiving holiday. "Buckling your seatbelt costs you
nothing, but doing nothing can cost you everything,” says GOHS Director Dallas. "Risking a ticket is bad enough, but
risking your life could be a mistake you can’t undo. Remember to buckle up…every trip, day and night.”
The Georgia Click It Or Ticket enforcement campaign runs November 16th through November 29th, 2009. For more
information on our lifesaving highway safety initiatives, visit www.gahighwaysafety,org Day or Night.
Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Public Information Unit
Jim Shuler, Public Affairs Director – 404-656-6996 – email@example.com
34 Peachtree Street—Suite 800—One Park Tower—Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Visit us on the web at www.georgiahighwaysafety.org Sonny Perdue, Governor Robert F. Dallas, Director