RALEIGH – The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program is partnering with state and local law enforcement during the Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign, which runs now through Nov. 26, reminding holiday travelers to wear their seat belts.
“Our goal with the Click It or Ticket campaign is to save lives—period.” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Thanksgiving should be a happy time, not a tragic one. We hope that this campaign reminds Thanksgiving travelers about the importance of wearing a seat belt.”
During the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday period, there were 20 fatalities in passenger vehicle crashes, and 10 of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
North Carolina law requires all passengers in a vehicle to be properly restrained. Violations are punishable by fines up to $179. The bigger cost is that ultimately you could lose your life if you are involved in a crash where you are not belted.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that people not wearing a seat belt in either the front or back seat of a vehicle are 30 times more likely to be ejected during a crash. Another sobering statistic estimates that in fatal crashes, more than three out of four people who are ejected die from their injuries.
“Year after year, we are devastated by stories of family members who are killed on our roadways on their way to Thanksgiving festivities,” continued Ezzell. “It is unacceptable that half of all drivers and passengers killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crash. Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways to stay safe in a vehicle.”
To help you and your loved ones stay safe this Thanksgiving holiday, we recommend the following safety tips to drivers and passengers as they travel:
- Buckle Up. Every Seat. Every Time. It’s the law.
- Don’t drink and drive. Make sure you have a sober designated driver.
- Obey the posted speed limit.
- Keep a safe following distance.
- Turn on your headlights in the rain or snow.
- Put away all distractions including cell phones.