APRIL 22, 2010 -- Seat belts save lives. Therefore, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office eagerly participated in the statewide "Click It or Ticket" mobilization effort Thursday, April 15. While the emphasis was on targeting motorists who failed to buckle up, the Jackson County deputies made 11 felony arrests as part of the crackdown.
Deputies issued a total of 118 traffic tickets during the April 15 enforcement effort:
- 23 for safety belt violations
- 12 for driving while revoked
- 47 for speeding
- 35 for other traffic violations
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp stress that he and his deputies will continue to aggressively enforce safety belt laws.
"Safety belts are your single best defense in a crash," stated Sheriff Sharp. "Law enforcement will continue to encourage drivers to make a simple, smart choice to buckle up and arrive alive."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Click It or Ticket is the most successful seat belt enforcement campaign ever. The NHTSA credits Click It or Ticket with increasing seat belt usage nationwide to nearly 84 percent.
With nearly one of every four Missourians driving unbuckled, the state's safety belt usage rate is seven percentage points below that national figure. Statistics from 2008 indicate a driver involved in a Missouri traffic crash had a one in 29 chance of being killed if they were not wearing a safety belt. Compare that statistic to the one in 1,322 odds of someone who did wear his or her safety belt.
Another fact from 2008 to consider: seven out of 10 Missourians killed on state roads were unbuckled. Among those not killed or injured in traffic crashes that year, 97 percent were wearing their belts and eventually arrive back home alive.
"We're making ticketing people for being unbuckled a priority because it save lives, pure and simple," Sheriff Sharp said. "Look at those numbers: one in 29 vs. one in 1,322. When you can improve your odds of surviving a crash so much, why wouldn't you use your safety belt?
"My hope is eventually we won't be writing any tickets for safety belt violations because everybody -- 100 percent -- will be buckling up."
For more information about safety belt usage in Missouri, visit savemolives.com.