Topeka,KS. – The Kansas Department of Transportation is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to raise awareness of its “Click It or Ticket” campaign during the busy Thanksgiving weekend. Law enforcement agencies will have an increased presence on roadways to check for speeders, seat belt use, and any suspicion of impaired driving.
“Whether driving down the street or across the country, you endanger yourself by not buckling up and you are letting others be in danger if you don’t require them to use their seat belts, too,” said Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Drivers and passengers should use that seat belt every single time they get into a vehicle.”
KDOT statistics show 319 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in traffic crashes in Kansas in 2021. In that same year, 46.4% of those killed were unrestrained. About 46.6% of front-seat passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2021 were unrestrained and 58.3% of those killed in back seats were unrestrained. KDOT Behavioral Safety Manager Gary Herman encourages everyone to buckle up and drive defensively when traveling over Thanksgiving weekend.
“A simple click any time you head out will help you make it to the table and to your family safely,” said Herman. “The odds for crashing increase with more vehicles on the road, and you can’t control how many people are out on Thanksgiving weekend. But you can ensure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up.”
Seat belts are proven effective. NHTSA reports seat belts have saved the lives of more than 100,000 people in the United States in the past 10 years. However, unrestrained drivers and motorists who are ejected from a vehicle during a crash do not have good odds for survival. Nationally in 2020, eight out of 10 (82%) passenger vehicle occupants ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed. Across the U.S. in 2020, only 1% of passenger vehicle occupants wearing seat belts were ejected in fatal crashes, compared to 26% of those who were unrestrained.
This Thanksgiving’s “Click It or Ticket” surveillance period will be in effect from Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Monday, Nov. 28. Any violation of traffic safety laws can result in a fine and certain violations can result in jail time. The campaign runs concurrently with a media campaign reminding motorists that Kansas law dictates driver safety requirements. Please drive responsibility. For more information, visit www.KTSRO.org.