By Staff reports
Maine officials: ‘Buckling up is not optional’
KITTERY, Maine — The state Bureau of Highway Safety, State police and 54 other police departments kicked-off a two week seat belt enforcement effort Monday at the Kittery Welcome Center.
The annual campaign centers around Memorial Day and will utilize federal highway safety funding to pay for overtime to allow officers to concentrate on seat belt enforcement. Lauren Stewart, the director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, said her agency has distributed $225,000 in federal funds to pay for the two-week effort, called “Click it or Ticket.” Stewart said the efforts coincide with a national campaign funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Almost half of Maine’s recent highway deaths involved drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts. Buckling up is not optional, it’s the difference between life and death in a crash,” Stewart said, adding that in the past five years, 241 people not wearing their seat belts were killed in Maine traffic crashes.
Maine State Police are also participating in the “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Troopers will augment the seat belt enforcement with several additional traffic enforcement efforts for the next two weeks and throughout the summer.
“Memorial Day is the kick-off to the summer driving season and drivers need to avoid drinking and driving, buckle up, stop texting and drive the speed limit,” said Colonel Robert Williams, chief of the Maine State Police.
Williams said the State police plane will be assisting the enforcement efforts which will continue through the summer.
Click It or Ticket
National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization
May 11 – 25, 2015 (Paid Media) / May 18 – 31, 2015 (Enforcement)
Additional 2015 Campaign Materials Coming Soon.
Statistics show that passenger vehicle occupants are buckling up more during the day, but not enough at night. This mobilization is created to crackdown on violators 24-7, but a strong enforcement effort is urged between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. due to the significant number of violators and fatal crashes during this time.
Paid advertising will run from May 11th to May 25th. Click here for a copy of the Media Work Plan.