Click It or Ticket for holiday

State traffic safety offices and law enforcement agencies across the nation are kicking off “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and the unofficial start of summer vacation season.

AAA predicts that 37.6 million Americans will travel by car this weekend to destinations including the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, marking a 3.6 percent increase from last year.

Highly visible police patrols are watching for unrestrained passengers in cars and trucks, both children and adults, the front seat and back, both day and night. Overtime enforcement is paid with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

Indiana law requires the driver and all passengers to buckle up. Children under age 8 must be properly restrained in child car seat or booster seat.

The share of Hoosiers not buckling up has dropped to 6.6 percent, below the national average of 10.4 percent. But new data from ICJI and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute show that unrestrained motorists still make up 53 percent of traffic deaths.

Unrestrained motorists are more likely to die in crashes by 10 times in cars and SUVs, 14 times in pickup trucks and 15 times in vans.

Male drivers, particularly those age 15-44, are the least likely to be buckled during a crash. Injury rates among unrestrained motorists are also higher in rural counties, when a driver is speeding or impaired and on weekend nights between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

More seat-belt statistics are in the first of several 2018 Crash Fact Sheets at www.in.gov/cji/files/Seat_Belt_Fact_Sheet2018.pdf.