Police forces in West Virginia have begun another effort to target drivers who do not buckle their seat belts before hitting the road. The Click It or Ticket campaign is the first of four meant to remind drivers how important it is that they buckle up.
According to the West Virginia Highway Safety Office and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use has dropped to about 82 percent in West Virginia. That is simply unacceptable. There is no excuse for not taking an extra five seconds to buckle that seat belt before putting a vehicle in gear.
Seat belts save lives. In 2011, 77 percent of those who were thrown from their vehicles - not buckled in - died. Why on earth would anyone take such a chance?
For that matter, why would people take the risks involved in texting or holding their cellphones to their ears? Police forces will be watching for those offenses, as well.
Get in the habit of buckling your seat belts. Set a good example for the children in your cars, both by reminding them to buckle up and by doing so yourself. And do it every time you get into your car or truck, no matter how short the drive. That's a life-saving habit, whether law enforcement agencies are checking up on you or not.