Northeast Ohio police officers, community members, and local teens unite
to underscore the importance of seat belt use
CLEVELAND, May 19 /PRNewswire/ --
What: Local kickoff of the 2009 "Click It or Ticket" law enforcement mobilization and performance/screening of peer-to-peer messaging created by area high schoolers.
Who: Interim Chief 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 a family who survived a serious roll over crash unharmed thanks to their use of seat belts and car seats.
Performance of seat belt songs/raps and screening of public service announcements and billboard art designed by area teens as part of Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital's Use It or Lose It High School Seat Belt Challenge, sponsored by Kohl's and Liberty Mutual.
Why: In Ohio, 107,229 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes during 2007; 916 of them did not make it. More than 17,000 motor vehicle occupants and drivers aged 16 to 20 were injured and 131 were killed--more than any other age group. Wearing seat belts is the single most effective means of reducing 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. Only 69% of Cuyahoga County motorists buckle up, compared to 76% statewide and 82% nationwide, and teens are less likely to buckle up than any other age group.
This year's Click It or Ticket campaign kickoff highlights 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 law enforcement officers across Northeast Ohio will increase enforcement of safety belt laws. "The goal of the enforcement effort is not to issue citations, but to give more motorists an incentive to buckle up every time they get in a car," said Interim Chief Kwiatkowski. "We're not trying to surprise anyone -- we're telling people right now, we'll be out there and we'll be watching, so you'd better buckle up."
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 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, 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 www.libertymutualgroup.com.
|SOURCE University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children?s Hospital|
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