On Friday, May 20 students at the Milford Senior High School, along with School Resource Officer Joey Melvin, did their part at reminding their classmates to buckle their seatbelts. Students painted a “Buckle Up” stencil that they received from the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) at the exit of the high school so that students will think about the seat belt laws and their safety as they leave school each day.
“The Buckle Up Stencil serves as an important visual reminder to both drivers and passengers to buckle up as they leave the premises,” said Andrea Summers, Occupant Protection Coordinator for the Office of Highway Safety. “ ‘I forgot’ is probably the most common excuse we hear so seeing the stencil everyday should help eliminate that.”
The Buckle Up Stencil Project is a partnership between OHS and local businesses. The stencil is an image of two hands clicking a seat belt together with the works Buckle Up underneath. OHS has partnered with Dover Downs, Delaware Army National Guard, Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Perdue Farms Inc in Milford, Milford High School, and Pepsi Bottling Ventures in Harrington to stencil their locations.
The Click It or Ticket campaign will be in full effect with statewide overtime seat belt enforcement starting Sunday, May 22nd through June 4th. Daily enforcement traffic safety checkpoints and saturation patrols will be conducted day & night by 24 state, local, and municipal police agencies statewide. Much of the enforcement will occur in the afternoons and evenings when the majority of unrestrained injuries and fatal crashes occur. The campaign kickoff was held Thursday May 12th at Dover International Speedway.
Currently, Delaware’s unrestrained fatal crashes are out pacing this time last year. At this time last year 35% of the fatal vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts compared to 46% currently.
“Many parents, friends, co-workers have posted details on our Facebook page how a seat belt has saved them from serious injury when they were involved in a crash,” said Jana Simpler, Director for the Office of Highway Safety. “So if you have ever doubted if a seat belt really works, take it from the survivors, seat belts save lives.”
Delaware law requires drivers and all passengers, including those in the back seat, to wear a seat belt. An officer can pull over a driver if he sees any person in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt, even if there is no other violation. Officers will be issuing citations for seat belt violations as part of a zero tolerance policy. The ticket, which goes to the driver no matter who is unbuckled in the vehicle, is a $25.00 fine plus court costs, which can eventually total as much as $70.00.
Participating agencies include Dewey, Dover, Elsmere, Felton, Georgetown, Laurel, Milford, Millsboro, New Castle City, New Castle County, Newark, Newport, Rehoboth, Seaford, Wilmington, Wyoming, and Delaware State Police. Enforcement is being accompanied by a statewide public awareness effort in the form of radio & internet advertising coupled with the Buckle Up Stencil Project.
For more information on Click It or Ticket campaign, enforcement results and the Buckle Up Stencil project, please visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, Like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe .