Michigan’s Seat Belt Enforcement Saves Lives

During the Click It or Ticket enforcement, from May 21 through June 3, The Michigan State Police made 14,384 traffic stops and gave out 4,364 tickets to people who were not wearing their seat belts. Research shows that seat belts are the most effective technology that we have to date for staying protected on the roads. The enforcement brings awareness to the issue and increases the number of lives saved.

15 people lost their lives in car crashes over Memorial Day weekend alone. Of those, at least one person was not wearing a seat belt.

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt use in Michigan was at 94.5% in 2106, which was above the national average of 90.1 percent. While seat belt use is up, there are still millions of people taking a risk and endangering their lives by not buckling up.

The Click It or Ticket program began in 1993 and was launched by North Carolina’s Governor Jim Hunt. This was the first time officers were able to pull over individuals and issue citations if they were not wearing seat belts, even if no other offenses were observed. In 1988, New York was the first state to make seat belt mandatory and that has spread state-wide ever since.

The fact is that wearing a seat belt properly can prevent a person from being thrown from the car upon impact. It also reduces the force, reducing the risk of death by 50%, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a time when distracted driving and cell phone use while driving pose a serious threat, it is more important than ever to be diligent about wearing a seat belt.

The Click It or Ticket enforcement is a reminder to drivers to always buckle up, no matter how short of a distance you are traveling. Stated where seat belt use is enforced equates to a higher percentage of use and more lives saved. Michigan’s recent seat belt enforcement was successful and is spreading awareness and keeping drivers safe.