How to avoid a traffic fatality Nighttime stops coming

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Statistics show that 55 percent of all traffic fatalities could be avoided if motorists would just simply buckle up. In an effort to curb serious injury crashes, Dalton Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the country in the upcoming mobilization Click it or Ticket, which begins Monday and runs through Nov. 27.

The 14-day national mobilization of law enforcement will include the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, one of the heaviest during the year. Click it or Ticket is geared to educate motorists that the proper use of seat belts saves lives.

The Dalton Police Department Traffic Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division will be conducting special operations to enforce Georgia’s occupant safety laws during the Thanksgiving holiday period. Officers will be using road checks and concentrated patrols as tools to spot motorists violating the safety belt and child restraint laws in an effort to limit the number of serious injury or fatality car crashes.

This year extra attention will be given to nighttime seat belt use. A recent survey by the department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit showed that seat belt usage fell from 92 percent during daylight hours to 80 percent usage at night.

In 2009, 11,593 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m., and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of those who died were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crashes.

Motorists are reminded that any front seat passenger of a passenger vehicle, including pickup trucks, in operation on highways of Georgia must wear a seat belt. Any passenger of a vehicle under 18 years of age must wear a seat belt no matter where they are seated in the vehicle, and all children under the age of 8 years must be placed in an approved Child Safety Restraint.

Motorists should also be aware that not wearing a seat belt correctly with the shoulder belt across the chest will not give the passenger any protection if the vehicle that they are an occupant of is involved in a crash.

The Dalton Police Department is asking all motorists to “Slow Down, Buckle Up and Drive Sober” to make this a safe Thanksgiving holiday

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