FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona -- As summer kicks off and families hit the road for vacations, Fort Huachuca's Directorate of Emergency Services is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket.
Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep you and your family safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 22 through June 4, concurrent with one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.
'Our law enforcement personnel see firsthand the loss of life when people refuse to buckle up,' said Capt. Adrian Galindo, deputy chief of police. 'It's such a simple thing, and it should be an automatic next step after sitting down in a vehicle.'
As the Memorial Day weekend approaches and the summer vacation season ramps up, 'we want to keep our community members safe, and make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash: buckling up. If the enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving and gets them to buckle up, we'll consider it a success.'
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. That's why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement.
Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. On Fort Huachuca, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is up to $100 with a $30 dollar processing fee.
'In 2016 the percentage of known restraint use for passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Arizona was 40 percent known restrained and 60 percent known unrestrained,' Galindo said.
'Did you know someone who was killed in a crash because they did not buckle up?' asked Galindo. 'Please, help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone -- front seat and back, child and adult -- needs to remember to buckle up, every trip, every time.'