As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday weekend, Ocean City Police are urging everyone to buckle up. Beginning Monday, May 20th, law enforcement officials were out in full force, taking part in the 2013 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.
“We want everyone to enjoy their summer here in Ocean City. One big part of that is staying safe,” said Acting Chief Gregory Guiton. “Buckling your seat belt is one of the easiest choices you can make to ensure your safety.”
On the morning of May 20th, OCPD joined law enforcement agencies throughout Maryland and the entire northeast region in mobilizing the Click It or Ticket “Border to Border” Operation.
Law enforcement agencies that share State borders will team up to provide increased seat belt enforcement at border sites, sending a ‘zero tolerance’ message to the public: Driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what State.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. As noted, deaths involving seat belt nonuse are more prevalent at night than during the daytime. According to the NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
“Maryland’s seatbelt law is about to get tougher. Come October first, everyone must wear a seatbelt. Everyone. Those in the back seat as well as those in the front,” said John Kuo Administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative for in Maryland. “Governor O’Malley just signed into law a bill that will require all occupants of a vehicle to be buckled.”
In 2011, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide according to the NHTSA. While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20 through June 2, officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.
For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.