State and local law officers are beginning a “Click it or ticket” effort Saturday that will carry through this Memorial Day weekend. Iowa Highway Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz says they goal is simple, to make sure that people are using their seatbelts as he says they want to see the seatbelt use numbers continue to go up.
Iowa currently has a 93-percent statewide, daytime seatbelt average, ranking Iowa in the top ten in the nation. The nighttime seatbelt average is only 39-percent. Trooper Kurts points to an accident that happened on the bypass in Sioux City recently as a good example of why they want everyone to buckle up. During that accident it was determined a female driver who was not wearing her seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle and fatally injured. “I believe the number is about 75 percent of the people who are thrown from a vehicle in a crash are killed. You are much safe inside that vehicle and the seatbelt is the one thing that is going to keep you inside that vehicle during a crash,” Kurtz says.
It is the start of the summer driving season and that leads to more vehicles on the road, and the possibility of more accidents. “Last year in 2013 there were three fatality crashes over the Memorial Day Holiday — two of those which were alcohol related,” Kurtz says. He says other years there have been more fatal accidents, and the main point is that you need to take precautions like using your seatbelts to avoid becoming one of the statistics.
The campaign begins Saturday (May 24) and runs through June 4th.
(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)