The Governor’s Highway Safety Program today officially launched its Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” campaign, marking 20 years of seat belt safety awareness efforts that have saved countless lives. To honor this milestone and show support for the cause, GHSP is asking North Carolinians to get out their cell phone cameras, snap a self-portrait of them buckled up while parked and share it on social media, using the hashtag, “#SafetySelfie.”
“As the state that started “Click It or Ticket” two decades ago, we’re known for finding unique ways to encourage people to fasten their seat belts,” said Don Nail, interim director of GHSP. “The ‘#SafetySelfie’ is just one more example of our innovative approach to changing motorists’ behavior for the better. By harnessing the power of social media, we hope to convince the small percentage of people who aren’t buckling their seat belts that it’s the right thing to do.”
The process is easy and takes less than a minute to complete. With your vehicle in a parked position, activate your cell phone camera and take a picture showing your seat belt buckled securely. Then, share the photo with your friends, family and co-workers via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest with the hashtag, “#SafetySelfie.” GHSP also encourages you to add comments urging others to follow your example and fasten their seat belts before putting the vehicle in drive.
“This is about saving lives and spreading the word that seat belts should be second nature every time you step into a car,” said Cris Mulder, Deputy Secretary for Communication at the N.C. Department of Transportation. “That’s a safety message that starts early and can’t be repeated enough. The ‘#SafetySelfie’ is a fun and engaging way to get everyone involved in driving the message home through social media, a method we know will make an impact.”
GHSP hopes the “#SafetySelfie” will become a phenomenon that lasts long past this “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which ends on June 2.
In the 20 years since “Click It or Ticket” began, the number of reported crashes, fatalities and injuries involving unbelted passengers has dropped dramatically across the state and nationwide. 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 crashes.
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. To watch, click here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WshDdbZvAz0.
In addition to social media and enforcement efforts, GHSP will hold regional anniversary events in Raleigh, Elizabeth City, Clyde and High Point to retrace the historic first steps of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.