Click it or Ticket: Law enforcement ramps up safety belt checks this week

The National Highway Safety Administration’s data for 2020 shows there were 10,893 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. FILE PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
The National Highway Safety Administration’s data for 2020 shows there were 10,893 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. FILE PHOTO

In 2021, 35 people were killed in Butler County crashes and 10 were not buckled into their safety belt, according to officials.

The National Highway Safety Administration’s data for 2020 shows there were 10,893 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 58 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their safety belts.

Butler County law enforcement agencies is taking a no-excuses approach to safety belt law enforcement, writing citations both day and night with the “Click it or Ticket” enforcement campaign today through June 5.

In 2021, of the 8,194 crashes in Butler County, 1,404 were teen-related, 143 were unbelted, 18 alcohol related, six drug related and 19 were deer related.

October is the highest month for teen crashes and Fridays are he highest day, with 3 to 6 p.m. being the highest time frame for crashes involving teens.

Just how many young drivers and passengers are buckled up on area roadways on an average day? Butler County Safe Communities is teaming up with local law enforcement to assess safety belt compliance at area high schools, with Monroe High School recently being the most compliant at 93 percent, according to Kristy Duritsch, executive director of the Safety Council of Southwestern Ohio.

During the observation period — once in the fall and spring — a person is stationed at entrances to the high school parking lots with a counter to record seat belt compliance vehicles’ occupants, Duritsch said. That includes teens and adults in the vehicles.

“Interestingly enough, often the student in front will be buckled in and the parent is not,” she said.

Last week, the Monroe student body was presented with the winning banner of “Butler County Battle of the Belts.”

“We aren’t handing out tickets for the thrill of it. If enforcement wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” said Lt. Clint Arnold, Ohio State Highway Patrol. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this life saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction.”

School safety belt compliance:

Lakota East, 89 percent

Ross, 88 percent;

Talawanda, 88 percent

Lakota West, 87 percent

Fairfield, 85 percent

Butler Tech, 82 percent

Badin, 79 percent

Hamilton, 75 percent

Madison, 75 percent

Edgewood, 74 percent

Middletown, 71 percent

New Miami, 65 percent

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