|Kingsport Police Department
200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660
ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)
|SUBJECT:||Kingsport Police Endorsing and Participating in 2017 “Click It or Ticket” Traffic Safety Initiative|
|DATE:||May 23, 2017|
|As summer kicks off and families hit the road for vacation, the Kingsport Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to remind motorists to “Click It or Ticket.” From May 22 to June 4, 2017 participating agencies across the state will increase seat belt enforcement as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) nationwide mobilization.
This campaign encompasses the Memorial Day holiday, which is traditionally one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. “Click It or Ticket” is not about the citations; it is about saving lives, and seat belts are without a doubt a motorist’s single best defense in the event of a crash.
According to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN), 349 people killed in Tennessee traffic crashes last year were not wearing a seat belt. This represents approximately 34 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities in 2016.
Although the state’s average seat belt usage rate increased from 86.2 percent in 2015 to 88.95 percent in 2016, Tennessee is still nationally classified as a “low use” state. In 2017, the THSO strives to change this by achieving 90 percent or higher.
“Our goal is to prevent fatalities and keep the roadways safe,” said Vic Donoho, Director of the THSO. “We ask every Tennessean to buckle up, every trip, every time.”
According to the NHTSA, nearly half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained. At night from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. Therefore, the primary focus of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating agencies will be taking a zero-tolerance, no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement.
Fear of getting a fine should really not be the primary motivator to encourage someone to buckle up. In Tennessee, the maximum monetary penalty for a seat belt violation is $50.00. In reality, if a motorist is involved in a serious motor vehicle collision while not wearing a seatbelt, the more serious penalty could clearly be his or her life.
Wearing a seatbelt can easily make the difference in a motorist being seriously injured or killed in a crash versus literally walking away from the crash with minor injuries or completely unscathed. The Kingsport Police Department encourages ALL occupants of ALL motor vehicles to wear their seatbelt ALL of the time. It is the law, but more importantly, it might just save a life.
For more information about seat belt safety or the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.
|Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit