This month the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office will join law enforcement agencies across the nation to increase enforcement of seat belt laws for Click It or Ticket. Multiple weeks of highly visible patrols will be watching for unrestrained passengers in cars and trucks, both children and adults, the front seat and back, both day and night.
Click It or Ticket continues through the Memorial Day holiday and the start of the summer travel season. Overtime police patrols are paid with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).
Indiana law requires the driver and all passengers to buckle up. Children under the age of eight must be properly restrained in a child car seat or booster seat.
The share of Hoosiers not buckling up has dropped to 6.6%, below the national average of 10.4%. But new data from ICJI and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute show that unrestrained motorists still make up 53% of traffic deaths.
Unrestrained motorists are more likely to die in crashes by 10 times in cars and SUVs, 14 times in pickup trucks and 15 times in vans.
Drivers under age 25, especially young male drivers, are the least likely to be buckled during a crash. Injury rates among unrestrained motorists are also higher:
in rural counties, when a driver is speeding or impaired, and
on weekend nights between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.
More seat belt statistics are in the first of several 2018 Crash Fact Sheets at www.in.gov/cji/files/Seat_Belt_Fact_Sheet2018.pdf.
During a crash, unrestrained passengers become projectiles that can injure or kill others in the car. Traffic crashes are the leading killer of children ages 1 to 13, and adults set the example. Parents and caregivers who do not buckle up are more likely to have kids who are improperly restrained. That means one ticket for the driver and one additional ticket for the driver for each unrestrained child.