From May 21 through June 3, state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States will be stepping up enforcement with the Click It or Ticket campaign. This concentrated effort will be on the lookout for motorists who aren’t wearing their seat belts.

Click It or Ticket is not just about writing traffic tickets; it’s about saving lives. In 2016, the last year in which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has information, there were 10,428 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. That number is more than the population of Grimes and of 99.5 percent of Iowa’s towns and cities.

According to NHTSA, 48 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained. Almost twice as many males were killed in crashes and they had a lower seat belt use rate. It is even worse at night when 56 percent of the fatalities were unrestrained.

Patrick Hoye, Bureau Chief, Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau said, “If you have a friend or family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please encourage them to make it a habit. It is such a simple thing to do and it very well could save their life.”

The Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau remind you that seat belts save lives, and everyone - front seat and back, child and adult - needs to remember to buckle up - every trip, every time.