SPD urges caution over holidays

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 22, 2005

This week the Selma Police Department will be participating in the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign in an effort to improve traffic safety within the city.

Police Chief Jimmy Martin said Friday the campaign, funded through a grant from the Central Alabama Highway Safety Office, will begin Monday and continue until June 5.

During the campaign, additional officers will be patrolling designated areas throughout the city and giving tickets to those not obeying seat belt laws. State statistics show the “Click It or Ticket” campaign has been successful in getting drivers to buckle up.

Lt. David Evans, public information officer, said Alabama now has an 80 percent safety belt use rate.

“The goal of this type of enforcement is to increase seat belt and child restraint usage,” Evans said. “Statistics have proven that the use of safety belts save lives and prevent injuries.”

Preliminary reports from the Alabama Department of Public Safety released this week show the number of deaths on state highways rose 15 percent since 2003. Of these crashes, 121 resulted in fatalities.

Nearly 250 vehicle crashes involved children who were not properly restrained, according to the police department. Promoted mainly through television and radio ad campaigns, “Click it or Ticket” attempts to raise awareness about safety belt usage with the threat of a traffic ticket. Evans said the “Click it or Ticket” campaign slogan for this year is “Wear Your Safety Belt-Save Your Money, Help Save Your Life.”

The “Click it or Ticket” campaigns are currently used in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

In other Click It or Ticket campaigns, the occupant restraint usage rate increased by more than 10 percent, meaning that thousands of previously unbuckled drivers and passengers began using safety belts and child safety seats, according to the Alabama Department of Public Safety.