CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is urging drivers on West Virginia roads to buckle up during the statewide Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement mobilization that runs from August 4-20, 2023. This mobilization is part of the GHSP’s continual efforts to increase seat belt usage in West Virginia.
“We want seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike,” said Gov. Jim Justice.
In 2021, 40 percent of all passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in West Virginia were unrestrained. To help save lives, we need to step up seat belt enforcement, day and night.
Rural drivers may believe that their crash exposure is lower, but in 2021, 62 percent of total vehicle fatalities in West Virginia occurred in rural locations, compared to 38 percent in urban locations.
“We will keep working to spread the message that seat belts save lives until every person in every vehicle is correctly buckled up. Too many people die on our roads because they were not buckled. Just one death is one too many,” said GHSP Occupant Protection Program Coordinator Amy Boggs. “A seat belt is your best protection against death or injury should you be in a vehicle crash.”
Law enforcement officers across West Virginia will be out in full force, ticketing drivers who are caught traveling without a correctly buckled seat belt or transporting unrestrained children. This statewide seat belt campaign is aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep all vehicle occupants safe.
Wearing your seat belt is required by law. Don’t just buckle up to avoid a ticket. The values of our families’ and friends’ lives in West Virginia are incalculable. The $25 violators pay if ticketed pales in comparison to the lives of the people we love most. If you are caught driving while unbuckled and you get a ticket, look at it as your wakeup call. A ticket is far less expensive than paying with your life or the lives of your family and friends.
“At our current seat belt usage rate of 92.5 percent, unbuckled drivers or passengers have a 20.10 times higher likelihood of being killed if they are in a crash. The reality is: seat belts save lives. Not buckling up is not worth the risk. Click It. Don’t Risk It,” concluded Boggs.
For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit highwaysafety.wv.gov or call 304-926-2509.