OHIO VALLEY — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is encouraging all motorists to buckle up this upcoming holiday season and continue to do so throughout the new year.
From 2012 to 2014, 1,157 people were killed in crashes across Ohio who were not wearing an available safety belt.
“It’s simple — safety belts save lives and reduce injury in crashes,” said Lt. Max Norris, commander of the Gallia/Meigs post. “It is the easiest and most effective action you can take to protect yourself, your family and your friends.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 361 lives were saved in Ohio and 12,584 were saved nationwide in 2013 as a direct result of motorists buckling up.
According to Ohio’s 2014 Observational Seatbelt Survey, 85 percent of motorists were found to be in compliance with Ohio’s safety belt law. This is the highest usage rate seen since observational studies began in 1991. While these rates appear high, many Ohioans still do not buckle up.
Ohio’s safety belt law remains a secondary violation; however, troopers continue zero tolerance enforcement when motorists are stopped for other violations and are found unbuckled. Troopers wrote 121,945 citations last year for failure to wear a safety belt.
Troopers ask the public to wear a safety belt whenever traveling in a vehicle and insist that those who travel with drivers buckle up as well.
For a complete statistical analysis of safety belt violations visit www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/Safety_Belt_Bulletin_2015.pdf. The public is encouraged to call the number 677 to report impaired drivers and drug activity.