Click It or Ticket campaign begins; Buckling up is as Important as mask wearing

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

As we approach the Memorial Day Holiday, the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) is partnering with state and local law enforcement to promote the importance of buckling up. Just as COVID-19 has taught us the importance of proactively protecting yourself by wearing a mask, buckling up is as important in reducing motor vehicle injuries and fatalities.

“As our state resumes to normal business and transportation activities, it is important that we share this life-saving message with Nebraskans,” stated Mark Segerstrom, Administrator for the NDOT-HSO. “The Click It Or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education, strong laws, and law enforcement officers saving lives. Hundreds of law enforcement officers come together to help us enforce the message, make an impact and save a life.”

“Our officers see the effects of unbuckled driving every day, and it’s a tragic, preventable loss of life and cause of injury,” said Scottsbluff Chief of Police Kevin Spencer. “Whether you’re traveling across the state or down the street, you must wear your seat belt.”

During the 2019 Click It Or Ticket campaign, 936 Nebraska law enforcement officers issued citations for 310 seat belt and 40 child passenger restraint offenses. Nebraska averages one road fatality every day and a half. Of the 175 fatalities in 2018, sixty-six percent were unbuckled. Safety belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by forty-five percent and light truck occupants by sixty percent.

Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing anyone can do to prevent injury or death in a vehicle crash. The Click It or Ticket campaign combines powerful messages about seat belt safety with increased patrolling for all unbuckled motorists.

Douglas County Sheriff Timothy Dunning says, “The bottom line is this; wearing a seat belt may very well mean the difference between life and death. This Memorial Day, and every day of the year, remember: Click It Or Ticket.”

Nebraska’s seat belt law stipulates that the driver, and each front-seat occupant in a vehicle, must be correctly wearing a seat belt that is properly adjusted and fastened. The child passenger safety law requires children ride rear facing up to age two or until they reach the upper weight or height limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. All children up to age eight must ride correctly secured in a federally approved child safety seat or booster and children up to eight must also ride in the back seat, as long as there is a back seat equipped with a seat belt and not occupied by other children under eight years of age. Violation of this comes with a $25 fine and court costs.