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If You Are Unbuckled This Thanksgiving, Expect to Pay a Fine

Every year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times.  Millions of Americans hit the roads to spend time with family and friends.  Unfortunately, more vehicles on the road means the potential for more dangerous roads, and it’s as important as ever that everyone is buckled up.  To make sure the message reaches all Saline County drivers and passengers, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) will be joining other state and local law enforcement agencies to participate in the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) high-visibility seat belt enforcement campaign Click It or Ticket.  The no-excuses, zero-tolerance crackdown combines powerful messages about seat belt safety, with increased patrols day and night, targeting all unbuckled motorists—those who still aren’t getting the point.

“The statistics are really troubling,” said SCSO Patrol Lieutenant Jeffrey Silk.   “Almost half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes are not wearing their seat belts.  And during this busy time on our roads, we see way too many preventable fatalities in crashes.” 

These tragic crashes could have turned out differently.  Research indicates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.  In 2014, seat belts saved the lives of 12,584 passenger vehicle occupants.  If seat belt use had been at 100 percent, an additional 2,800 people would still be alive this Thanksgiving.

“We want people to know that we’re serious about this campaign, because we see the devastation first-hand when people fail to buckle up in a crash,” said Lt. Silk.  “If we see you without your seat belt, we aren’t going to be asking any questions or giving out warnings."

“Whether you’re driving to the grocery store, a friend’s house a mile away, or your grandparents’ house across the country,” Lt. Silk added, “please buckle up this Thanksgiving, and every time you’re on the road.”  Drivers who fail to heed the warning are taking too big a risk—a hefty fine or worse: dying in a crash.

Remember: Click It or Ticket. You have a lot to lose otherwise.