Motorists who refuse to wear their safety belts should beware.
The 2014 national Click It or Ticket safety belt enforcement mobilization kicks off Monday to help save lives by cracking down on those who don't buckle up.
In addition, the Patrol will join forces with members of the 6-State Trooper Project for a multi-state enforcement effort from May 19 to 26 that will also focus on safety belts. Members of the 6-State Trooper Project that will be participating include: the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the West Virginia State Police.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 10,335 vehicle occupants who died in 2012 were not wearing their safety belts at the time of the crash.
Last year in Ohio, 59 percent of the people killed were not wearing a safety restraint.
"Too many drivers and passengers are not wearing their safety belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy," said Col. Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. "It doesn't matter which state you're driving in. I want you to get home safely."
More than 900 law enforcement partners around Ohio, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, will be aggressively enforcing the law during the Click It or Ticket mobilization, which runs May 19 to June 1.
"It's simple. Safety belts save lives and reduce injury in crashes," said Director John Born, Ohio Department of Public Safety. "It is the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your friends."
In 2012, safety belts saved an estimated 12,174 lives nationwide according to NHTSA. While this year's Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs through June 1, troopers will continue their zero tolerance policy year-round when motorists are stopped for other violations and are found to not be wearing their safety belt.
Troopers ask that you wear your safety belt every time and insist that those who travel with you buckle-up as well. Law enforcement and other safety partners will be holding awareness events and educational activities to stress the importance of safety belt use around the state during the mobilization.