RALEIGH – The state of North Carolina was not just First in Flight. It was also the first state in the nation to launch an innovative seat belt safety awareness campaign called “Click It or Ticket.” Starting Monday, May 20, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program will celebrate the campaign’s 20th anniversary.
“We’re proud of the hard work we’ve put into making this campaign a model adopted today by every state in the country,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. “We know the impact of “Click It or Ticket” is far reaching – saving countless lives not just in North Carolina but nationwide.”
Since the Governor’s Highway Safety Program launched “Click It or Ticket” in 1993, the number of reported crashes, fatalities and injuries involving unbelted passengers has dropped dramatically in North Carolina. Law enforcement officers responded to 38,289 crashes involving unbelted passengers in 1992, the year before the campaign started. By 2012, the totals dropped to 8,187.
“We credit the effectiveness of our “Click It or Ticket” campaign for dramatically reducing the number of crashes involving people who didn’t buckle up,” said Don Nail, interim director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “But, there are still North Carolinians who don’t wear their seat belt when they get behind the wheel. Until every person in our state abides by the law, we’ll continue to lead the way in seat belt safety awareness.”
The “Click It or Ticket” campaign runs through the Memorial Day holiday weekend and ends on June 2. During that time, law enforcement officers will step up patrols statewide and cite those who do not buckle up.
NCDOT produced a public service announcement to remind drivers and passengers that wearing a seat belt during a crash not only reduces your chances of suffering critical injuries or even death by 50 percent, but will also save you $161 in fines if you are caught without your seat belt fastened.
In addition to enforcement efforts, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program will hold regional anniversary events in Elizabeth City, Clyde and High Point next week to retrace the historic first steps of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
Image of an officer conducting a seat belt inspection during a "Click It or Ticket" campaign
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