Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 19, 2012 – The Illinois State Police joined more than 500 law enforcement agencies throughout the country in the “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Police were out in force during the Memorial Day weekend to issue tickets for drivers who fail to wear seat belts. NHTSA statistics indicate that in the year 2010, safety belts saved approximately 12,546 lives throughout the country.
“Safety belts are one of the most important tools that drivers and passengers can use to protect themselves in a car accident,” said Chicago car accident attorney Robert Briskman.
In Illinois, on the 2011 Memorial Day weekend alone, there were 13 deaths and 700 injuries on local roads. In the mid 1990s, Illinois law enforcement focused more on ensuring that motorists were wearing seat belts. Their efforts raised compliance to 68% by 1998. By the next year, however, that rate had declined to 65.9%. Traffic safety officials conducted surveys and found that up to thirty percent of drivers said they were part-time users of seat belts. Additionally, the surveys showed that about six percent said they never or rarely used seat belts.
After documenting the decline in seat belt use by 1998 and the lack of use by many drivers, Illinois decided to join the Click It or Ticket campaign. As part of their renewed efforts to educate drivers about the effectiveness of using seat belts to prevent roadway fatalities and injuries, Illinois officials traveled to North Carolina, a state that had raised their seat belt usage rate from 64% to 84%.
By learning from North Carolina’s approach, Illinois was able to increase the seat belt usage rate by over four percentage points in just one year. The campaign of encouraging greater seat belt usage is conducted using several waves of public outreach and law enforcement.
These waves are organized around major holidays such as Memorial Day and Independence Day. Media campaigns also target the groups that need to raise their compliance the most, because they are at an increased risk of accidents. For example, males and youth tend to wear seat belts less often.
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
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Chicago, IL 60654
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