MILLS COUNTY, Iowa. (KMTV) — With Memorial Day and the beginning of summer approaching, officers often see an uptick in traffic--and as a result, a rise in crashes and fatalities. The national Click It or Ticket campaign is set for later this month, with state and local law agencies stepping up seat belt enforcement.
Last year, four traffic fatalities occurred on Iowa roads over the Memorial Day weekend--four deaths that could've been prevented, a press release from the Mills County Sheriff's Office says. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes nationwide in 2017.
The national campaign will take place from May 20 through June 2, 2019. State and local law agencies will step up seatbelt enforcement as a way to protect drivers and their families.
The following are some seat belt myth busters from the Mills County Sheriff's Office:
Vehicle Type: There seems to be a misconception among those who drive and ride in pickup trucks that their large vehicles will protect them better than other vehicles would in a crash. Fifty-nine percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed in 2017 were not buckled compared to 42 percent of car occupants.*
Seating Position: Too many people believe they are safe in the back seat unrestrained. Forty-six percent of all front-seat passenger killed in 2017 crashes were unbelted but 56 percent of those killed in the back seat were unbelted.*
Rural versus Urban: People who live in rural areas might believe that their chance of being in a crash is lower but in 2017 there were 12,786 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural locations compared to 10,316 fatalities in urban locations. Of those fatalities, 49 percent of those killed in rural locations were not wearing their seat belts compared to 44 percent in urban locations.*
(*National data supplied by NHTSA)