FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Media Relations|
BUCKS FOR BUCKLING UP
Personal Responsibility Reaps Financial Rewards
BOWIE, MD (May 17, 2012) -- These days, who couldn't use an extra buck? Your chance to earn a dollar for something that takes less than two seconds is Thursday, May 17th, beginning at 12:00 p.m. at Route 301 and Ballpark Drive in Bowie.
The Prince George's Community Federal Credit Union (PGCFCU) and the Prince George's County Police Department are sponsoring a program called Buckle Up For A Buck. Coordinated with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's Click it or Ticket campaign, law enforcement officers and safety advocates will distribute one dollar bills (donated by PGCFCU) to drivers who have all occupants properly buckled up in their vehicles. Those riding unrestrained will also receive educational materials about the effectiveness of seat belts and child safety seats in saving lives and reducing injuries, and also face receiving a ticket. Additional Buckle Up For A Buck dates and locations throughout Prince George's County will be announced on the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/JwTKWO.
The Buckle Up For A Buck program promotes seat belt usage and raises awareness of the traumatic results for those who choose not to buckle up. Besides losing out on a dollar and risking getting a ticket, not wearing your seat belt can be costly in many other ways.
More than 500 people in Prince George's County lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes between 2006 and 2010. Data shows that throughout 2010 (most recent data available), someone was killed in Prince George's County every four days in a crash and every hour, another person was injured.
Extensive efforts within the county have improved the overall seat belt use rate from less than 80% in 2004 to a current compliance rate of more than 93.8%; however, Prince George's County continues to lead the State with the highest number of motor vehicle deaths. The continued proper use of seat belts is the best way for motorists to protect themselves on the roadways, especially at night when other drivers may be more likely to be impaired or driving more dangerously.
Throughout May, area law enforcement agencies in Prince George's County will take a zero tolerance approach when it comes to enforcing Maryland's seat belt law as part of Click It or Ticket. Law enforcement officers would rather write a ticket for not using a seat belt rather than showing up at a door to tell a family that their loved one was killed because they were not buckled up.
Here are some basic facts to consider:
The risk of being involved in a fatal crash is significantly greater at night as compared to the daytime.
- Data show a decline in seat belt use among fatally injured occupants as it gets later in the evening. Seat belt use reaches lowest levels between midnight and 4 a.m., nationally.
- In Maryland, an overwhelming majority of severe/fatal unbelted crashes happen during the lowest light/nighttime hours. With 43% of the reported unbelted incapacitating injury or fatal crashes occurring between 8 p.m.-4 a.m., the nighttime hours are grossly overrepresented statewide.
- In Prince George's County, approximately 66% of all reported unbelted driver/occupant fatalities occurred between 8 pm-4 am.
Seat belts save lives – they are the best defense against injuries and fatalities.
- Seat belts, when used by passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older, saved an estimated 12,713 lives in 2009 – more than 72,000 lives from 2005 through 2009 – and 267,890 lives from 1975 through 2009.
- Worn correctly, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent for front seat passenger car occupants — and by 60 percent for pickup truck, SUV and van occupants.
- In fatal crashes in 2009, 77 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were thrown from their vehicles were killed. However, only 1 percent of crash victims who were buckled up were totally ejected from their vehicles, compared to 31 percent of those who were unbuckled.
- Motorists are 75 percent less likely to be killed in rollover crashes if they are buckled up.
- A seat belt is your best defense against a drunk or aggressive driver.
Seat belt patrols and other stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted during Maryland's Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization, which runs May 7 - June 3. Prince George's County law enforcement officers will be out in force stopping and ticketing unbelted motorists. Unless you have money to burn and want to risk a ticket or worse – your life -- remember to Click It or Ticket day and night.
Click It Or Ticket is an annual national mobilization campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, and Prince George’s County Police Department. Aimed at increasing seat belt use among all drivers and passengers in the United States, the campaign relies heavily on enforcement and education.