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Northeast Ohio Kicks Off the 2008 Click It or Ticket Campaign
Date:5/17/2008

Northeast Ohio police officers gather to tell motorists 'Click It or Ticket

- Buckle Up'

Local high schoolers display art and videos promoting seat belt use
CLEVELAND, May 17 /PRNewswire/ --

What: Local kickoff of the 2008 "Click It or Ticket" law enforcement

mobilization,

When: Monday, May 19, 2008

Noon (free buffet lunch for media and invited guests at 11:30 AM)

Where: The Cleveland House of Blues

308 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44114

Who: Commander Mark Kwiatkowski, Bedford Heights Police Department

Speaking on behalf of Northeast Ohio Law Enforcement and the

Cuyahoga County Speed, Reckless, Aggressive Driving &

DUI Reduction Task Forces

Presentation of a Saved By the Belt Award to the family of Sgt. Scott Zahniser, Cleveland Metroparks Ranger. On July 19, 2007, Sgt. Zahniser was called to respond to a motor vehicle crash with possible injuries, only to find the crash involved his own father and 17-month-old son. When he arrived on the scene, he found his father's car had been struck from behind at a red light by a pickup truck, which had pushed the vehicle's trunk into the back seat. Scott was relieved and amazed to find that his father and son escaped the potentially fatal crash with only minor injuries-his father because he was wearing his seat belt and little Connor because he was securely buckled into a properly installed car seat.

Presentation of public services announcements and art designed by area teens promoting seat belt use

Finalists in Rainbow's "Use It or Lose It High School Seat Belt Challenge," sponsored by Kohl's, will perform or screen their creative entries and winners will be announced, adding a fun, high-energy vibe to the law enforcement mobilization kickoff. Winning entries will receive airplay or screen time throughout Greater Cleveland this summer.

Why:

Wearing seat belts is the single most effective means of reducing the risk of death or serious injury for adults and teens in motor vehicle crashes, yet Cuyahoga County has one of the lowest belt use rates in the state. In Ohio, 123,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes during 2006; 1,239 of them did not make it. That's 1,239 fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and best friends. Three of every five fatalities were not wearing seat belts. For motor vehicle occupants aged 16 to 20, 2 of every 3 fatalities were unrestrained. This year's Click It or Ticket campaign kickoff will highlight the urgent need to increase belt use in Northeast Ohio, with a special focus on those most at risk of motor vehicles crashes: teens and young adults.

From May 19 to June 2 local law enforcement officers across Northeast Ohio will increase enforcement of safety belt laws. Local officers warn drivers to buckle up or expect a ticket. Drivers who are stopped for a traffic violation such as speeding during the mobilization period will be given a second citation if they are not in compliance with the state's seat belt law.

The goal of this campaign is not to issue citations -- the goal is to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up and protect themselves, boost Cuyahoga County's abysmal 65 percent safety belt use rate, and reduce fatalities, with a special emphasis on young adults. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans aged 1 to 44.

While teens are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes than other drivers, they're significantly less likely to be buckled up. That's why the Click It or Ticket kickoff will feature finalists in Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital's Use It or Lose It seat belt challenge who have created songs, commercials and posters encouraging their peers to buckle up and be safe in the car. The more than 100 law enforcement officers in attendance will vote for their favorite entries.

Media Highlights:

-- Local high school music groups, artists and producers will be competing

in the finals of a creative messaging contest aimed at encouraging teen

drivers and their passengers to buckle up.

-- Speakers will be available for interviews after the press conference

-- Media are encouraged to take b-roll footage of seat belt use at the

corner of Euclid and Ontario

-- Free HOB buffet lunch for all media participants!!!

The Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Center, lead agency for the Greater Cleveland Safe Kids/Safe Communities Coalition, works with communities, children, and families through education and outreach to decrease unintentional injury risk and improve wellbeing.

Kohl's, based in Menomenee Falls, Wisconsin, supports Rainbow's Use It or Lose It High School Seat Belt Challenge through the Kohl's Cares for Kids(R) program, which raises funds for children's health and educational opportunities through the sale of special gift items. Kohl's community outreach also includes Kohl's Kids Who Care(R), an annual youth volunteer recognition program, as well as an associate program to encourage volunteerism.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Liberty Mutual Group has been "Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912. The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. Visit http://www.libertymutualgroup.com.


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SOURCE Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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