RALEIGH The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor's Highway Safety Program announced today that 14,600 drivers and passengers were cited for seat belt and child passenger safety violations during the May "Click It or Ticket" campaign held May 19 through June 1.
"Enforcement is key in changing driver and passenger behavior," said Don Nail, director of GHSP. "Our law enforcement partners issue seat belt citations to save lives. Wearing a seat belt decreases your chances of suffering critical injuries or even death in a crash by 50 percent."
To ensure the enforcement message reached motorists statewide, state and local law enforcement officers increased patrols and manned more than 11,400 checkpoints during the campaign. This amplified enforcement effort resulted in 3,662 more citations this May than during the same period last year.
The counties which issued highest number of seat belt citations include:
Wake County with 1,177 seat belt tickets;
Robeson County with 861;
Mecklenburg County with 723;
Guilford County with 712; and
Brunswick County with 648.
Each June following the May enforcement period, North Carolina's annual seat belt usage survey is conducted in 15 counties. Last year, the seat belt usage rate improved to 88.6 percent, an increase of 1.1 percent. Results from this year's survey will be released later this summer.
In addition to cracking down on unrestrained drivers and passengers, officers across the state charged 1,987 motorists with driving while impaired. Officers also issued 23,929 speeding citations and 13,566 criminal violations, including 2,697 drug charges.
For county by county totals or more information regarding "Click It or Ticket" activities, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665, or visit the GHSP website.