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'Click It or Ticket' enforcement underway

GLEN BURNIE, Md. - As summer approaches, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and state and local law enforcement, will kick off the annual Click It or Ticket campaign on May 21.

“The most effective way to save a life in a crash is to wear a seat belt,” said MDOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

The MDOT MVA urges drivers and passengers to buckle up –every seat, every time – as they travel to their destinations. Both local and national ads to generate awareness of stepped-up enforcement of seat belt laws and the increased chance of getting a ticket if you’re not buckled up, will run on billboards, television, radio, and online from May 14-June 3. Law enforcement across the state will also join a “border-to-border” seat belt effort on May 21 to initiate the annual campaign.

“Highway safety is one of the most important issues we face daily,” said Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. “As we continue to work towards the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries due to motor vehicle crashes statewide, troopers will increase their vigilance during this initiative, focusing on unsafe driving behaviors, targeting motorists violating the seat belt law.”

MDOT MVA’s 2017 Roadside Observational Survey showed that 92 percent of Maryland drivers and front-seat passengers wear seat belts when driving on state roadways. Unfortunately, with the rise in seat belt usage on state roads, a decline in seat belt use on local and rural roadways also was discovered – 85.1 percent use in 2017, down from 86.1 percent during the same period in 2016. In addition, only 84 percent of back seat occupants in cars, SUVs and pick- up trucks buckled up in 2017.

“If we had 100 percent seat belt usage last year, 45 more people would be alive with their families today,” said Christine Nizer, MDOT MVA Administrator and Governor Hogan’s

Highway Safety Representative. “When unbelted passengers are not secured, they easily become projectiles in a crash, causing serious injuries or death to other passengers.”

To learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Maryland Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit: towardzerodeathsmd.com, like us on Facebook @towardzerodeathsmd, follow us on Twitter @tzd_maryland, and on Instagram @twdzerodeaths_md.

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