Franklin, Massachusetts – The Franklin Police Department, in partnership with the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research, the Massachusetts State Police, and up to 158 other local police departments in the state, will take part in the national Click It or Ticket campaign from May 4-28th. This high-visibility mobilization will promote seat belt use through increased traffic enforcement in an effort to reduce motor vehicle deaths and injuries.
“When seat belt use drops off, we see spikes in motor vehicle deaths,” said Chief Thomas Lynch. “Enforcing the seat belt law means more people buckling up, and as a result fewer deaths and injuries in our community. We’d rather give a motorist a warning or a citation, than have to tell their family that they were killed or hurt because they chose not to wear their belt.”
Massachusetts has one of the lowest seat belt use rates in the country at 74 percent, well below the national average of 90 percent according to the state’s annual seat belt observation study.
Fifty-nine percent of the 242 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Massachusetts roads in 2016 were unrestrained.
Seatbelts saved an estimated 115 lives in Massachusetts in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, and an additional 45 deaths could have been prevented if seatbelt usage was at 100%.
“There’s a dangerous misconception that you don’t need a seat belt if you’re on a short trip,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Massachusetts Highway Safety Division. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Most crashes happen close to home. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to protect yourself from other drivers’ bad decisions. We’re asking all motorists to protect themselves by wearing a seatbelt on every trip.”
Please ask our department’s public information officer about the use of seat belts in all crashes being reported on and include in any coverage.
Distracted or impaired crashes are not “accidents”. We urge media to follow the AP Stylebook, which suggests avoiding the word “accident” in reference to negligent, drunk or drugged crashes.