FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2017
CONTACT: LT. Joseph Desmond
The Wilmington police department, in partnership with the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts State Police, and up to 200 other Massachusetts local police departments, will take part in the national Click It or Ticket campaign between May 8th and May 29th. This high-visibility mobilization will promote seat belt use through increased traffic enforcement in an effort to reduce motor vehicle deaths and injuries.
“We’re looking to save lives,” said Traffic Officer Matthew Stavro. “In 2015, there were 89 people injured in traffic crashes in Wilmington. That number could have been lower if everyone was wearing their seat belts.”
Massachusetts seat belt usage is significantly lower than the national average – 78 percent compared to 90 percent, according to the state’s annual seat belt observation study.
Sixty-four percent of the 172 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Massachusetts roads in 2015 were known to be unrestrained, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Seatbelts saved an estimated 72 lives in Massachusetts in 2015, according to NHTSA, and an additional 41 deaths could have been prevented if seatbelt usage was at 100%.
“The simple act of buckling up will give you a fighting chance in the event of a crash – increasing your chances of surviving by at least fifty percent,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “We’re asking all drivers to protect themselves by wearing a seatbelt on every trip – short or long, day and night – and to keep their eyes on the road.”