Police looking for unbelted drivers this month to prevent fatalities


    FILE

    LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The Department of Motor Vehicles is reminding drivers to wear their seat belts as Virginia police officers will be conducting a 'click it or ticket campaign' in November.

    According to the DMV, 308 drivers died in crashes on Virginia roadways. This year's seat belt survey revealed a use rate of 84.1 percent among Virginia drivers, which is down from 2017's rate of 85.3 percent.

    Statistics have also shown that 79 percent of people ejected in a crash die and 30 percent of unbelted motorists are ejected during a crash.

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    Throughout the entire state of Virginia, there have been 243 fatalities of unrestrained drivers so far this year. Last year, there were 308. In 2016, 304 unrestrained drivers or passengers were killed in Virginia crashes; in 2015 there were 310 and in 2014 there were 256.

    Below are the number of fatal crashes in our area this year as a result of those failing to use a seat belt:

    • Lynchburg City - 1
    • Amherst County - 5
    • Appomattox County - 1
    • Bedford County - 5
    • Campbell County - 4
    • Charlotte County - 1
    • Franklin County - 2
    • Halifax County - 1
    • Montgomery County - 5
    • Nelson County - 5
    • Pittsylvania County - 12
    • Pulaski County - 2
    • Roanoke County - 3
    • Rockbridge County - 3

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt users are 45 percent less likely to be fatally injured in a crash.

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    “As long as Virginians continue to lose their lives on our roadways because they are not wearing their seat belts, we still have work to do. Look at the statistics – wearing a seat belt is simple, effective, and can save your life," said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.

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    The DMV notes that it is also very important to ensure children are properly secured in an age appropriate child safety seat.

    The NHTSA said child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury for infants by 71 percent and for toddlers by 54 percent.

    “We need your help to reach our goal of 100 percent seat belt usage in Virginia. Always buckle up and make sure everyone in your vehicle is properly secured,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb.

    The 'Click It or Ticket' campaign runs through November 30 and will combine high visibility of seat belt and child safety seat laws with outreach and education.

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