During a morning ceremony at Hope High School in Providence, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today joined the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) to drive home the message that buckling up can save your life. As part of the event, the RISP provided a demonstration of a rollover simulator, a new State-owned device that replicates what can happen in a rollover crash. This device will be available for demonstrations throughout the State.
“None of us wants to get the call that a loved one has been involved in a crash. Especially when that crash involves the loss of life,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis, as he was flanked by local and State law enforcement officials who came to support the cause. “Study after study shows that regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.”
This morning’s event also served to kick-off the annual “Click it or Ticket” campaign. Two weeks of intensive enforcement and education, “Click it or Ticket” is led by 36 local police departments and the RISP. The campaign runs from May 19 - June 1, 2008 and is designed to help save lives and prevent injuries on the State’s roadways.
Although current seat belt rates are improving, of the 49 occupants that were killed in Rhode Island in 2006, nearly 75 percent, or 36 people, died because they failed to buckle up. Rhode Island’s seat belt and child restraint laws carry a $75 fine per violation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nearly one in five (or 18 percent) nationally still fails to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Among those least likely to buckle up: young males, pickup truck drivers and their passengers, people who live in rural areas, and night-time drivers.