As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) and Oklahoma law enforcement want to remind all drivers of the importance of seat belt use. The annual ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign is a high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from May 24 through June 6, 2021. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign runs concurrent with the busy travel season.
“During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be working with law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers,” said Director Paul Harris of the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.
“Wearing a seat belt is the number one thing you can do to help save your life in a crash,” said Commissioner John Scully of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. “Oklahoma law requires front seat passengers to wear their seat belt, but we encourage everyone in the vehicle to buckle up,” Ask any law enforcement official in Oklahoma and they will tell you what happens when you don’t buckle up.
“Unfortunately, we see what happens when someone is in a crash and isn’t wearing a seat belt. So often, those injuries and deaths could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt,” said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant Chris Arnall.
In 2019, 208 people were killed in crashes on Oklahoma roadways who were NOT buckled up. While not every crash is survivable, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stats that show a 50 percent increase in survivability when you wear a seat belt.
More than 55 agencies in Oklahoma have signed up to have extra personnel looking for seat belt violations. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” said Harris. “Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time.”