“Click it or Ticket” campaign to reduce serious traffic crashes begins in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY– Nobody wakes up in the morning and plans to get in a vehicle crash, and yet statistics show this happens on a daily basis. As Utah gets ready for the busy summer driving season, the Utah Department of Public Safety is launching “Click it or Ticket,” a renewed effort to try to reduce the number of people seriously hurt or killed in crashes by reminding everybody of the simplest way to avoid that outcome: Buckle up.
A simple message: Click it or Ticket
The “Click it or Ticket” campaign kicked off this week around the state and will run through June 6. More than 40 law enforcement agencies are planning to have officers work more than 300 overtime shifts to stop and educate any motorist they see who isn’t wearing a seatbelt.
There will also be digital ads and billboards around the state featuring various pop-culture characters like Gandalf from “Lord of the Rings,” Princess Leia from “Star Wars” and Captain Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which organizers hope will convey the critical message in a fun way to those who may be resistant to the message.
Whether it’s because someone refuses to use a seatbelt, or they simply forget, or maybe even think because they’re only driving a block or so they don’t need it, Capt. Jeff Nigbur of the Utah Highway Patrol said the numbers don’t lie.
“Only 10% of Utahns don’t buckle up, but that accounts for about 40% of the motor vehicle fatalities that occur. That number could significantly decrease if travelers would simply wear a seat belt,” Nigbur explained.
Seatbelts prevent casualties
Nigbur says seatbelts are the single most effective way to survive a crash because unbuckled passengers become deadly projectiles with two outcomes: ejection from the vehicle or flying around inside injuring themselves and possibly others.
Four friends learned that lesson the hard way.
Jacquelyn Judd, Rae McCurdy, Shayne Brock and Jasmin Roe were heading to catch a flight at the airport when McCurdy, who was driving, tried to avoid hitting an animal in the road. The vehicle swerved, rolled several times and ejected two of the three unbuckled passengers.
“We hadn’t even gotten on the highway yet, that’s why we weren’t buckled,” said Jacquelyn Judd.
Judd and Brock traveled several yards out a window and Roe was tossed about inside. They were fortunate to survive, but the friends still had to endure several surgeries and months of recovery.
Judd’s perspective has now changed. She said she realizes that the unexpected can happen at any time on any road, so it’s imperative that everyone in the car or truck buckles up, no matter how short the distance, no matter what road you’re traveling on.
Making a habit of buckling the seatbelt before you put the vehicle in gear and verifying that all passengers have done the same is the most effective way to avoid situations like what happened to Judd, McCurdy, Brock and Roe.
“Our goal as members of law enforcement is to educate,” said Nigbur.
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