CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — When travelling behind the wheel, one of the most important things to remember is to buckle up all necessary seatbelts in the car.
Governor Justice’s Highway Safety Program is partnering with local law enforcement to help encourage drivers in West Virginia to buckle up while participating in the statewide Click It or Ticket program that runs through the month of October from October 6, 2023 to October 22, 2023.
This program also coordinates with Operation Crash Reduction, that begins October 6, 2023 to October 9, 2023.
Historically, both these programs coincide during Columbus Day weekend, which is one of the most deadliest holiday weekends for crashes and fatalities. States included in this region are Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
“We want all drivers and passengers traveling in West Virginia to be safe on the roadways and to always wear their seat belt,” said Governor Jim Justice.
Statistics have shown that from 2011 to 2020, October was the most dangerous month for drivers in West Virginia, with a totality of 309 vehicle deaths. In 2021, 40 percent of fatalities were from people not wearing a seatbelt.
“As we continue to work to spread lifesaving seat belt messaging, we ask that every driver and passenger take responsibility when they are driving or riding in vehicles. Too many people die on our roads because they were not buckled or not buckled correctly,” said GHSP Occupant Protection Program Coordinator Amy Boggs.
Through this program, law enforcement will be on alert for people who are not wearing a seatbelt or restraining their children in their vehicles.
“At the current statewide seat belt usage rate of 92.5 percent, unbuckled drivers or passengers have a 20.10 times higher likelihood of being killed if they are in a crash. The reality is: seat belts save lives. Not buckling up is not worth the risk. Click It. Don’t Risk It,” concluded Boggs.
Not only is wearing your seatbelt required by law, but it does save lives and saves others around you.
For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit highwaysafety.wv.gov or call 304-926-2509.