Papillion Police Department is reminding drivers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt this spring during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 16th to June 4th, 2023.
“We want the act of buckling up to become automatic to all drivers and passengers,” said Lt. Ray Higgins. “It’s not just a safe thing to do – it’s the law. During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be working with our fellow law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. In Nebraska, we know that 3 out of 10 occupants do not buckle up each trip. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented.”
According to the NDOT Highway Safety Office, in 2020, there were 171 passenger vehicle occupants that were killed in crashes in Nebraska; 132 (78%) were unbuckled, and of the 132, 50 (38%) were ejected from the vehicle. In comparison with other states, Nebraska has the 4th worst observed seat belt usage in the United States. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Nebraska, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $25.00.
“If the enforcement effort wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” said Lt. Higgins. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit https://dot.nebraska.gov/safety/hso/.