The Reading Police Department, in partnership with the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts State Police, and up to 200 other Massachusetts local police departments, will take part in the national Click It or Ticket campaign between May 8 and 29. This high-visibility mobilization will promote seat belt use through increased traffic enforcement in an effort to reduce motor vehicle deaths and injuries.
As part of the Click It or Ticket mobilization, on May 22, the Reading Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the East Coast in mobilizing the “Border to Border” Operation. This initiative provides increased seat belt enforcement at state borders, sending a ‘zero tolerance’ message to the public: driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what state, no matter what time.
“Our primary goal is to ensure that people remain safe on the roads,” Chief Mark Segalla said. “Officers will be actively enforcing seat belt and child passenger safety laws in order to help avoid needless injuries or deaths from crashes.”
Massachusetts seat belt usage is significantly lower than the national average – 78 percent compared to 90 percent, according to the state’s annual seat belt observation study.
Sixty-four percent of the 172 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Massachusetts roads in 2015 were known to be unrestrained, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Seatbelts saved an estimated 72 lives in Massachusetts in 2015, according to NHTSA, and an additional 41 deaths could have been prevented if seatbelt usage was at 100 percent.
“The simple act of buckling up will give you a fighting chance in the event of a crash – increasing your chances of surviving by at least fifty percent,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “We’re asking all drivers to protect themselves by wearing a seatbelt on every trip – short or long, day and night – and to keep their eyes on the road.”