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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
July 27, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
- Roberto Rodriguez, Director

 

Gary Myerovich
609-633-8727

 

Dramatic Rise in Seat Belt Use Follows New Jersey’s 2005 “Click it or Ticket” Campaign

(Burlington City) - New Jersey’s seat belt usage rate has risen to a record 86% following the two-week, 2005 “Click It or Ticket” campaign which ran from May 23rd through June 5th. It is a significant increase over the 2004 usage rate of 82%. New Jersey’s seat belt usage rate has risen 23 percentage points in the last 8 years, from 63% in 1998 to the current 86%. Statewide, 434 police departments participated in the enforcement mobilization and issued more than 65,500 seat belt summonses. Of those, 240 police departments had received Division enforcement grants, while the balance of those departments also displayed their dedication by conducting enforcement efforts without the benefit of grants.

“I commend our local law enforcement agencies across New Jersey for strongly enforcing the State’s seat belt law, which makes failure to wear seat belts a primary offense for which drivers can be stopped and ticketed,” said Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. “Police issued over 65,000 seat belt summonses during this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign. Those enforcement efforts - combined with our public education initiatives - are increasing seat belt usage and saving lives.”

“Click It or Ticket” combined enforcement with a concentrated media campaign to educate the motoring public about the importance of seat belt use,” said Division Director Roberto Rodriguez. “The results equate to more lives saved in New Jersey and tens of millions of dollars that won’t be spent on medical care resulting from crashes.”

Director Rodriquez says the dramatic rise in seat belt usage could hopefully mean more dedicated federal dollars coming into the Garden State. That would make additional grants available to allow police agencies statewide to better enforce seat belt usage on a year-round basis.

The new 86% figure equates to 5,208,286 licensed drivers in New Jersey who use seat belts. The remaining 14% are the 847,860 drivers who still refuse to buckle up. Much work remains to be done to reach this latter segment of the driving public. Seat belt use reduces a motor vehicle occupant’s risk of fatal injury by 45%, and moderate to critical injury by 50% (NHTSA).

The location of today’s press conference was the Niagara Volunteer Fire Company in Burlington City, near the heavily traveled intersection of Routes 130 and 541 (High Street).

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