Dover – The results are in and the news is great. Surveys conducted in mid June to measure seat belt usage statewide show the 2010 Delaware seat belt use rate is 91%, an increase of 3% from last year. “Seatbelts mitigate injury and save lives,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “It’s good to know that more people are using them. The more people buckle up, the greater chance we’ll reduce fatalities on our roads.”
Not only did the overall statewide usage rate increase but each county also saw an increase over last year. New Castle County usage rate went from 87% in 2009 to 89% for 2010. Kent County is currently at 94%, up 2 percentage points from last year and the Sussex County usage rate of 93% had the biggest percentage increase from 90% last year. “Utilizing a seat belt can mean the difference between life and death in a vehicle crash and the fact that more Delawareans are buckling up is very encouraging. This trend shows that motorists are changing their behavior every time they get in a vehicle,” said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.
Seat belt use has increased almost every year since Delaware began conducting the Click It or Ticket campaign in 2002 with the one exception of 2009 when it dipped down slightly from the previous year. “It is absolutely fantastic to see this increase in seatbelt usage in our great state. We are grateful and proud of our fellow Delawareans for recognizing the importance of buckling up,” said Tricia Roberts, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “Increased seat belt usage translates into lives saved and there is nothing better than that.”
During the Click It or Ticket campaign officers from approximately 30 State, County, and municipal law enforcement agencies issued a total of 1,663 citations to unbuckled motorists during the campaign. Out of the 31 vehicle occupants killed to date in 2010 in a fatal crash, 52% were not wearing a seat belt. At this same time last year, 46 people had been killed in a fatal crash and 61% were not wearing a seat belt.
Click It or Ticket is a nationwide seat belt enforcement and awareness campaign aimed at saving lives by increasing the number of people who consistently buckle up.