Portsmouth police remind drivers to ‘Click It or Ticket’

(Photo via Portsmouth police)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth police are reminding drivers to “Click It or Ticket” as they kick off a seat belt enforcement campaign.

The national Click It or Ticket campaign takes place between May 22 and June 4 — running at the same time as one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.

“Our law enforcement personnel see firsthand the serious injuries and loss of life that can occur when occupants inside a vehicle refuse to buckle up,” said Police Chief Tonya Chapman.  “Buckling up really is a simple and automatic reaction we should all have as soon as we sit down inside any vehicle.  As the much-anticipated Memorial Day weekend quickly approaches and the summer draws near, we want to be sure that the public understands the importance of seat belt usage.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 22,441 people killed in crashes in 2015 were not wearing seat belts. At night, from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement.

Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

“Many of us know someone who was killed or lost a loved one in a crash because they did not buckle up,” said Strategic Traffic Unit Sergeant Kevin Parker. “Please, help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of inaction. Seat belts can save lives, and everyone regardless of whether you sit in the front seat or the back, if you’re a child or an adult, need to buckle up, every trip, every time.”