Ninety-five percent of Washington drivers and passengers use their seat belts according to a new report from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. That leaves only five percent of people who might be subject to seat belt tickets during the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign.
The May 14 through June 3 extra seat belt enforcement campaign runs through Memorial Day, one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.
According to the report, both Grays Harbor and Mason Counties beat the state with observed seat belt use rates of 97.9 percent and 95.8 percent respectively. More than 150 law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be participating in this 17th annual Click it or Ticket campaign.
In Grays Harbor, Mason and Pacific Counties, the Aberdeen, Elma, Hoquiam, Ocean Shores, Montesano, Shelton, Raymond, and South Bend Police Departments, the Grays Harbor and Pacific County Sheriff’s Offices and the Washington State Patrol will be placing special emphasis on seat belt and proper child restraint use.
Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important and effective ways to survive in a crash. It’s simple, seat belts save lives. Mervin Ward from Olympia shared thoughts on why he buckles up in this short video.
In conjunction with the Click it or Ticket campaign, a national seat belt enforcement effort called Border to Border will take place on Monday, May 21 from 4 – 8 pm. It is a national seat belt awareness event involving states across the U.S. including Washington and Idaho.
Washington passed a secondary seat belt law in 1986 and the seat belt use rate that year was 36 percent. In the following years, Washington’s seat belt use rate rose and by 2002 the rate was 82 percent. During 2002, Washington passed a primary seat belt law and the seat belt use rate rose to 92 percent the very next year. The seat belt use rate has remained between 94 to 95 percent for the last several years. During the same time periods, the unrestrained fatality rate decreased dramatically from accounting for 64 percent of all traffic deaths to 18 percent of all traffic deaths.