NEWPORT — As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, Vermont law enforcement officers are urging everyone to buckle up. Beginning May 18 through the 31, law enforcement officials will be out in full force, taking part in the 2015 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.
“Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt, including drivers that have neglected to properly buckle their children,” Sgt. Allen A Fortin, Northern Click It or Ticket Task Force Leader said.
At 6:00 p.m. on May 18, Vermont law enforcement will join law enforcement agencies across the Eastern United States in mobilizing the Click It or Ticket, “Border to Border” Operation. Law enforcement agencies will join forces to provide increased seat belt enforcement at state borders, sending a zero tolerance message to the public.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,580 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2013 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. And unbelted fatalities are more prevalent at night than during the daytime: 59 percent of those killed in 2013 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. unbelted at the time of the crash.
Tragically, these national statistics are mirrored locally. In Vermont, many more unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants were killed at night, compared to those tragedies that occurred during the day.
Even though this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 18-31, officers will continue to be enforcing seat belt laws year-round.