The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is joining the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement agencies nationwide to promote the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which focuses on seat belt use, during this year’s Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP).
“I am concerned that too many people still do not understand that seat belts save lives,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Some young adults, in particular, who probably spent their earliest years buckled into child safety seats, are not using seat belts, and the results are tragic.”
During the Memorial Day MEP, from 6:01 p.m. on May 22 to 11:59 p.m. on May 25, CHP officers will be out in full force and will be especially vigilant about proper seat belt use. The intent of an MEP is to keep people safe on the roadways and to educate drivers on traffic safety, not to write a high volume of tickets.
Of the 25 vehicle occupants killed in collisions in California last Memorial Day weekend, at least seven were not wearing seat belts. Nationwide, fewer men than women use seat belts – and almost twice as many men as women die in collisions. NHTSA reports that in 2012, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained occupants involved in fatal collisions had worn their seat belts.
“Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to avoid being seriously injured or killed in a collision,” Commissioner Farrow emphasized. “Wear your seat belt, travel at a safe speed, and use a designated driver if your weekend plans include alcohol. This important advice could save your life or the life of someone you love behind the wheel.”
Fatalities were down 30 percent during the 2014 Memorial Day MEP (25 people died in collisions) from the 2013 Memorial Day MEP (40 people died). The decline may not indicate a trend, however; 25 people were killed during the same period in 2012 and 24 in 2011. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests appear to be declining. In 2014, CHP officers made 1,256 DUI arrests in California, compared to 1,266 in 2013; 1,305 in 2012; and 1,367 in 2011.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.