Click It or Ticket

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California's version of the campaign includes widespread placement of these traffic signs Click It or Ticket sign.jpg
California's version of the campaign includes widespread placement of these traffic signs

Click It or Ticket is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign aimed at increasing the use of seat belts among young people in the United States. The campaign relies heavily on targeted advertising aimed at teens and young adults.

Contents

The Click It or Ticket campaign has existed at state level for many years. In 1993, Governor Jim Hunt launched the campaign in North Carolina in conjunction with a "primary enforcement safety belt law", which allows law enforcement officers to issue a safety belt citation, without observing another offense. Since then, other states have adopted the campaign. In May 2002, the ten states with the most comprehensive campaigns saw an increase of 8.6 percentage points, from 68.5% to 77.1%, in safety belt usage over a four-week period (Solomon, Ulmer, & Preusser, 2002). Recently,[ when? ] Congress approved $30 million in television and radio advertising at both the national and state levels. [ citation needed ][ needs update ]

History

Click It or Ticket-sponsored banner in the U.S. Virgin Islands Virgin Islands Click it or ticket.jpg
Click It or Ticket-sponsored banner in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Before 1980, usage of seat belts in the United States lingered around 11% despite volunteer and educational campaigns at local, county, and state levels. Between 1980 and 1984, individual organizations, public education programs, incentives and policy changes strove to increase the use of seat belts. However, these efforts failed to significantly affect usage in large, metropolitan areas, and by the end of the effort national seat belt usage had reached only 15%. [1]

In 1984, New York became the first state to enact a mandatory seat belt use law, and by 1990 37 other states had followed suit. The vast majority of these laws were "secondary safety belt laws", meaning that an officer had to observe another traffic violation before issuing a citation for a seat belt infraction. Despite this, the national usage rate climbed from 15% to 50%. [1]

Campaign methods

The national television ad [airing] on several major networks features people driving in several regions of the country without their safety belts on. They receive a ticket, and then buckle up. The ads [appear] primarily in programs that deliver large audiences of teens and young adults—especially men. The programs include Fear Factor, WWE Smackdown, Major League Baseball, NBA Conference Finals, NASCAR Live, and the Indy 500. [2]

The campaign is also stressing strict enforcement of safety belt laws, in particular, the "Primary safety belt laws", which allow law enforcement officers issue a safety belt citation without observing another offense. By January 2007 25 states had primary safety belt laws, and on average 88% of people in these states use safety belts as opposed to 79% nationally. [ citation needed ] New Hampshire, the state with historically the lowest safety belt usage, [3] is the only state without an adult safety belt law. Massachusetts, the state with the second lowest usage, has only a secondary safety belt law, which requires officers to observe another driving offense before issuing a safety belt citation. Enforcement of safety belt laws of both types is to be made possible by checkpoints and saturation patrols that will detect violations of safety belt and child passenger safety laws.

Success

The campaign is deemed a success by proponents in terms of increasing seat belt use. A survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies found that 83% of 800 United States citizens surveyed had seen, read, or heard about the Click It or Ticket campaign. [ citation needed ]

Figures released by the U.S. Department of Transportation after amplifying the advertising and enforcement campaign on May 19, 2003 indicated that "National belt use among young men and women ages 16-24 moved from 65% to 72%, and 73% to 80% respectively, while belt use in the overall population increased from 75% to 79%." [2]

Opposition

Opposition to the effort is primarily based on the belief that requiring wearing of a seatbelt is a violation of civil rights. For example, Prof. Walter E. Williams of George Mason University writes, "The point is whether government has a right to coerce us into taking care of ourselves. If eating what we wish is our business and not that of government, then why should we accept government's coercing us to wear seat belts?" [4] Journalist Scott Indrisek has strenuously worked to oppose mandatory seat belt efforts, which he calls "a black stain on America." Additional objections settle specifically around the assertion that a seatbelt is a medical device, and because one is entitled to make their own medical decisions they should also be permitted to make their own decisions about wearing a seatbelt. [5]

Two Internet-based groups were founded to advocate this line of thinking. Stick It to Click It or Ticket operated a website and discussion forum, as did The Coalition for Seatbelt Choice. Both groups provided various levels of assistance to citation recipients by encouraging them to take their tickets to court. The groups have sponsored letter-writing campaigns to the editors of newspapers against compulsory seatbelt statutes. Both sites have since disappeared.[ citation needed ]

In Maryland, former Governor Robert Ehrlich opposed spotlights used by police officers to see into vehicles at night to determine if seat belts were being used on the basis that this violated privacy. Nighttime enforcement was suspended at the governor's request. [6] Nighttime enforcement was resumed by Ehrlich's successor, Martin O'Malley, hours after O'Malley took office in January 2007.

During the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing facemask orders/mandates have been being compared to seat belt laws, many states in 2021 have tried to repeal their seat belt laws. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Traffic enforcement camera

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Traffic ticket

A traffic ticket is a notice issued by a law enforcement official to a motorist or other road user, indicating that the user has violated traffic laws. Traffic tickets generally come in two forms, citing a moving violation, such as exceeding the speed limit, or a non-moving violation, such as a parking violation, with the ticket also being referred to as a parking citation, or parking ticket.

Red light camera

A red light camera is a type of traffic enforcement camera that photographs a vehicle that has entered an intersection after the traffic signal controlling the intersection has turned red. By automatically photographing vehicles that run red lights, the photo is evidence that assists authorities in their enforcement of traffic laws. Generally the camera is triggered when a vehicle enters the intersection after the traffic signal has turned red.

Parking enforcement officer

A parking enforcement officer (PEO), traffic warden, parking inspector/parking officer, or civil enforcement officer is a member of a traffic control department or agency who issues tickets for parking violations. The term parking attendant is sometimes considered a synonym but sometimes used to refer to the different profession of parking lot attendant.

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National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act

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Seat belt use rates in the United States

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South Carolina Highway Patrol

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is the highway patrol agency for South Carolina, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state except for federal or military installations. The Highway Patrol was created in 1930 and is an organization with a rank structure similar to the armed forces. The mission of the South Carolina Highway Patrol includes enforcing the rules and regulations in order to ensure road way safety and reducing crime as outlined by South Carolina law. The Highway Patrol is the largest division of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and its headquarters is located in Blythewood. This department also includes the South Carolina State Transport Police Division, and the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services.

Montana Highway Patrol

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Seat belt laws in the United States

Most seat belt laws in the United States are left to the states and territories. However, the first seat belt law was a federal law, Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Safety Standard, which took effect on January 1, 1968, that required all vehicles to be fitted with seat belts in all designated seating positions. This law has since been modified to require three-point seat belts in outboard-seating positions, and finally three-point seat belts in all seating positions. Initially, seat belt use was voluntary. New York was the first state to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, a law that came into effect on December 1, 1984. New Hampshire is the only state that has no enforceable laws for the wearing of seat belts in a vehicle.

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Islamabad Traffic Police

Islamabad Traffic Police is a "model traffic police force" formed under the Capital Territory Police in 2006 to "bring a new and healthy change in the traffic system" in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The Police Department was established on the pattern of an earlier success story in Pakistan, National Highways and Motorways Police (NH&MP) which was established in 1997. The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) came of age between 2007 - 2010 and came to be known as a corruption free and equal application of law police organization. The Model Traffic Police which later came to be known as Islamabad Traffic Police, was planned and designed by Mr. Syed Abbas Ahsan, Superintendent of Police in 2005 on the pattern of National Highways and Motorway Police. Mr. Sultan Azim Temuri, Senior Superintendent of Police, and Mr. Ashfaq Ahmad Khan, Superintendent of Police, were the first officers of the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) who led this widely acclaimed police organization. The organization was awarded ISO 9001: 2008 certification on 23 June 2009 for introducing state of the art Driver's License, First Police Radio Station, ITP FM 92.4 headed by Mrs Aisha Jamil, the new laws of prohibition on using mobile phone while driving and the wearing of seat-belt while driving, and client-oriented policing service in Pakistan. Hallmark of this traffic police department is that Rule of Law prevails on the roads of Islamabad, and Driver's Licenses are issued to only the qualified drivers after through testing of driving ability and medical fitness. The organization also has a Traffic Theme Park and Drving School for the education of school kids and driving training to the aspirants. Ever since the ITP took over the control in Islamabad, the incidents of road accidents have decreased, and drivers are seen wearing seat belts and avoiding to use mobile phone while driving, indicators of rule of law hardly seen in many other cities of Pakistan and other developing countries of South Asia and world as a whole.

Seat belt legislation in Canada is left to the provinces. All provinces in Canada have primary enforcement seat belt laws, which allow a police officer to stop and ticket a driver if s/he observes a violation. Ontario was the first province to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, a law that came into effect on January 1, 1976.

British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement

British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Safety & Enforcement (BCCVSE) is a provincial law enforcement agency that is responsible for the compliance and enforcement of the commercial transport sector, protection of the environment and transportation infrastructure of British Columbia, increasing road safety and protecting the motoring public.

References

  1. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2004-05-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2004-05-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. NHSTA (January 2007). "Traffic Safety Facts" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-13.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-06-23. Retrieved 2004-05-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. State Net - Legislative and Regulatory Information Service
  6. https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/government-and-politics/6861459-House-committee-supports-bill-that-would-loosen-North-Dakotas-seat-belt-law