Poedubicky said a key focus of this year's campaign is to promote seat belt use by adults in all seating positions in the vehicle, both front and rear.
"The best way to protect yourself in a crash is by wearing a seat belt", said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governors Highway Safety Program. To meet our goals enforcement must continue along with efforts to educate all motor vehicle occupants about the importance of buckling up on every ride. The special operation is created to send a zero-tolerance message across the six states that no matter where drivers and passengers are unbuckled, the result will be a ticket. "We don't want to have to write you a ticket, so please buckle-up, every trip, every time". Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. The child-restraint law requires children under 4 to ride in a child safety seat, and children between the ages of 4 and 8 years to ride in either a child safety seat or a booster seat.
In 2017, 42 percent of automobile fatalities in North Carolina were drivers or passengers who were not wearing their seat belt.
Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 21 through June 3, concurrent with the busy travel season.
According to a Washington Traffic Safety Commission report, Spokane and Whitman counties lag behind the state with observed seat belt use rates of 93.7 percent and 91.4 percent respectively, Stevens County beats the statewide average slightly with an observed rate of 95.5 percent.
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