The Roanoke County Police Department will participate in the 2012 National Click It or Ticket campaign, which will run from May 21 to June 3. Roanoke County routinely enforces Virginia’s occupant protection laws, but throughout the upcoming campaign the department will be cracking down on violators using additional patrols and police checkpoints.
While seatbelt use in Virginia increased slightly in 2011, there is still much work to be done. Preliminary data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office indicates 306 of the 765 fatalities reported in 2011 involved an un-restrained occupant. Of those fatal crashes, 30 percent occurred between midnight and 3 a.m.
Roanoke County Police Sgt. Tim Wyatt oversees the department’s Traffic Safety Unit. “Of all the risks Americans encounter each day, one of the greatest is being killed or severely injured in a motor vehicle crash. The simple act of buckling a seatbelt can triple your chance of surviving a crash.”
Wyatt says the majority of the traffic fatalities that have happened in Roanoke County in recent years have occurred at night. “I have seen the needless tragedy that occurs when a person refuses to wear their seatbelt. Our goal is not to write tickets, but to save lives by enforcing all traffic laws, including seatbelt use, around the clock.”
While the 2012 Click It or Ticket enforcement extends from May 21 to June 3, Wyatt wants motorists to know that Roanoke County’s officers enforce occupant protection laws throughout the year. “Those who opt not to wear a seatbelt need not offer an excuse. Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not buckled up – no warnings and no excuses. For us, it truly is Click It or Ticket.”
– Submitted by Teresa Hamilton Hall, Roanoke County