As the unofficial start of summer, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is a busy time for Americans. Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles on their way to start their summer vacations. To help drivers and passengers stay safe, the Winona Police Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place on May 21 through June 3, concurrent with the busy travel season.
Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. While the national rate of seat belt use is at 90.1 percent, that still leaves nearly 27.5 million people that don’t buckle up. “We want to keep our community members safe, and if the enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider it a success,” said deputy Chad Myers. Click It or Ticket isn’t about giving out citations; it’s about saving lives. In 2016, seat belts saved an estimated 14,668 lives of occupants five and older. If all passenger vehicle occupants five and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 2,456 lives could have been saved in 2016 alone.
Traffic deaths in Minnesota have decreased dramatically in the past two decades, but one death is still too many. Local officials will continue to improve traffic safety through traffic safety laws, enhanced enforcement, education, and engineering. This Memorial Day holiday weekend remember to follow the law and buckle up for every trip, every time.