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'Click It or Ticket' Coming to a Seat Belt Checkpoint Near You

National safety campaign will be in full force through June 6 to try to stem vehicular deaths

SATURDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- A national push to encourage seat belt use in the United States is being launched by the Governor's Highway Safety Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Known as "Click It or Ticket," the campaign is, in effect, a crackdown on those who choose not to buckle up, according to a news release from the highway safety association.

Through June 6, federally funded seat belt enforcement zones and checkpoints will be established across the country with the purpose of stopping and ticketing anyone found driving without their seat belt fastened.

The Governor's Highway Safety Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are making it clear that their policing program will brook no excuses and no exceptions, and federal and state-funded advertising will publicize as much beginning this week.

Some states will harness the power of social media Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter to help spread the message. A number of states will place ads on video game consoles, such as XBox, while others will use stickers, gift cards and coupons distributed at popular fast-food chains and stores to draw attention to the national safety effort.

The objective is to reduce passenger vehicle fatalities, which the two organizations pointed out are often a function of unused safety buckles. Although seat belts are now used by 84 percent of the American public -- an all-time high -- 55 percent of passenger vehicle deaths in 2008 involved people who were not wearing their seat belt at the time of their accident.

That figure rises even higher for night-time fatalities. Among the 12,000-plus vehicle occupants who died in 2008 in night-time car crashes, a full two-thirds were not wearing their seat belts.

More information

For more on seat belt safety, visit the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCE: Governor's Highway Safety Association, news release, May 24, 2010

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