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11/19/2023

This Thanksgiving, Be Thankful for Seat Belts Which Save Thousands of Lives Every Year

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is joining State and local law enforcement agencies to keep travelers safe and enforce seat belt laws throughout Thanksgiving. The Click It or Ticket national seat belt campaign, aimed at awareness and enforcing seat belt use, begins Thursday, November 23, and runs through Friday, December 1, 2023.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, the last year of verifiable data, there were 26,325 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes in the United States. Of those killed, 11,813 – or nearly half – were not wearing seat belts. According to NHTSA, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts in 2017.

In Connecticut in 2022, there were 74 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes.

Around the country during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2021, there were 361 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes across the nation, and 50% were unrestrained. Law enforcement officials will be in full force on Connecticut’s roads to issue citations to unbuckled people.

“Many people will be traveling during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, so if you’re a driver, make sure everyone in your vehicle, whether in the front or the back – is buckled up before you put that car into drive,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. “Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, and there is no excuse not to be buckled up. So this Thanksgiving, and every day of the year, remember: Click It or Ticket.”

“The holidays are right around the corner, and Connecticut highways will be crowded with travelers. The Click It or Ticket campaign aims to remind all residents that using seat belts reduces the risk of serious injuries to drivers and passengers as they drive to their destinations,” said Connecticut State Police Interim Colonel Daniel Loughman. “We care about you, so please buckle up.”

“Seatbelts are a proven means of reducing the severity of injuries from a collision. Using seatbelts for every occupant in a vehicle isn’t just a wise idea, it is the law,” said Watertown Police Chief and Chairman of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association Traffic Safety Committee Josh Bernegger. “Police officers throughout Connecticut are committed to making our roadways safer and will actively enforce our seat belt laws.”

Connecticut law requires all drivers and passengers in the front and back seats to wear seatbelts. Fines start at a minimum of $92 for a first offense.

For more information about the importance of wearing seat belts, please visit nhtsa.gov.



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