'Click it or Ticket' holiday effort targeting unbelted motorists

Friday, May 27, 2011

PUTNAMVILLE -- Hoosiers can expect to see more law enforcement officers out on roadways this Memorial Day weekend as Indiana's "Click It or Ticket" mobilization continues.

More than 260 Indiana law enforcement agencies are participating in this national enforcement effort, which specifically targets unbelted motorists.

The project will feature extensive patrols during the nighttime, a period in which two-thirds of those killed in traffic accidents had not been using seatbelts.

There were more than 15,000 crashes in Indiana during the month of May last year.

Close to 10 percent of these collisions occurred over the Memorial Day weekend (Friday May 28 at 6 p.m. through Tuesday, June 1 at 6 a.m.). Of those passenger vehicle occupants killed during the 2010 Memorial Day holiday period, 60 percent were not properly restrained.

"Officers will dedicate hundreds of overtime hours toward 'Click It or Ticket' enforcement this holiday weekend," ICJI Traffic Safety Division Director Ryan Klitzsch said.

"No matter where your travels take you this Memorial Day, or what time of day, they'll be out there," he continued.

The best defense against death or serious injury in the event of a crash is the use of a seat belt. Research has shown that wearing a seat belt can increase your odds of surviving a crash by up to 50 percent.

Indiana's "Click It or Ticket" enforcement mobilization ends June 5.

Meanwhile, AAA projects 34.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the 2011 Memorial Day holiday weekend, a slight increase of 0.2 percent -- or 100,000 travelers -- from the 34.8 million people who traveled one year ago.

"Memorial Day travel experienced a gain of more than 14 percent in 2010, and this year we expect to add slightly to that gain due to an increase in air travel and an improvement in the overall domestic economic picture," AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet said. "Some travelers will compensate for the higher fuel costs by cutting other areas of their travel budgets."

AAA's projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays.

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