The members of the Blue Ridge Transportation Safety Board will be supporting the National Click It or Ticket seat belt mobilization campaign from May 20th-June 2 this year. According to 2012 data from the Virginia DMV Highway Safety Office, of the 774 fatalities- 305 of them were unrestrained at the time of the crash. The highest time period for unrestrained deaths was between 6:00 pm and Midnight (28%). Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that in 2011 alone, an additional 112 lives could have been saved in Virginia with 100 percent seat belt use. Fifty four percent of the 130,854 passenger vehicle occupants killed on the roadways in the U.S. from 2006-2010 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
“According to DMV, Virginia’s seat belt use rate was 78% in 2011 leaving much work to be done,” said Chief Howard Hall. “We want to stress that buckling your seat belt every time you get in a vehicle can develop a life saving habit. Because our goal during the campaign is to save more lives, the law enforcement agencies represented by the Board will be out enforcing all traffic laws including seat belt use around the clock in a coordinated effort to increase seat belt use throughout our region.”
“During my career in trauma services, I have seen first hand the serious injuries and deaths that occur when unrestrained occupants are involved in a crash,” said Dan Freeman, Carilion Trauma Outreach Coordinator. “Unrestrained occupants suffer significant injuries when they strike the interior of a vehicle, another occupant or are thrown from the vehicle. However, some of the most serious trauma occurs during the internal collision- when vital organs are compromised. That’s why the traffic safety advocates for the Board will be working diligently during the campaign to educate the public concerning the inherent risks of not wearing a seat belt.”
The Blue Ridge Transportation Safety Board (BRTSB) encourages everyone to get involved with promoting the Click It or Ticket campaign in our region. Post seat belt reminders on your Facebook page, send an e-mail company wide reminding employees, or include the message in a company or organizational newsletter. Tell those you care about how important it is for them to always wear their seat belt.
“Those who choose not to obey traffic laws and not to wear a seat belt will feel the heat from law enforcement throughout our region. We will be cracking down on violators day and night,” said Chief Howard Hall. “Our officers, troopers, and deputies are prepared to ticket anyone who
makes our roads unsafe and are not buckled up... no warnings and no excuses. Click It or Ticket.”
For the past 25 years, the mission of the BRTSB has been to coordinate and promote traffic safety programs, projects, and educational initiatives while providing a professional network for guidance and support within the region. The BRTSB is composed of traffic safety advocates from both public and private sectors, law enforcement, and traffic engineers and supports the Roanoke Valley, New River Valley, and the surrounding areas of Central, Southwestern, and Southside Virginia.