Raleigh - The Governor's Highway Safety Program and the N.C. Department of Transportation announced the annual Click It or Ticket campaign, which ran from May 23 to June 5, resulted in 8,483 seat belt and 873 child passenger safety citations being issued to drivers and passengers.
"The safety of everyone who travels our roadways is a top priority of Governor McCrory's agenda," said Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. "The Click It or Ticket campaign reminds us that while we continue to make significant progress, we still have work to do to encourage passengers to buckle up in every seat, every time."
Over the enforcement period, state and local law enforcement agencies held 6,343 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols, issuing 77,622 traffic and criminal violations. The top five counties for seat belt violations were:
Robeson - 446
Wake - 368
Wayne - 366
Guilford - 361
Mecklenburg - 338
As of June 3, there have been 173 unbelted fatalities in North Carolina this year. That is a 13.1 percent increase in the number from the same time period last year. Forty-two percent of all fatalities in 2015 were the result of a person making the choice to not use a seat belt.
"As the summer travel season begins, we want to remind passengers that it is the law to wear your seat belt, regardless of where you are sitting," said Don Nail, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Buckling up takes three seconds and is a simple action that could save your life."
Increased enforcement efforts and public awareness campaigns are being used to get the state's seat belt usage rate back above 90 percent in 2016, after it dipped just below that figure in 2015.
A seat belt survey is currently being conducted in 25 North Carolina counties to help determine North Carolina's overall seat belt usage rate, as required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The survey counties are: Alamance, Brunswick, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Harnett, Johnston, Mecklenburg, Nash, Onslow, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Sampson, Wake, Wayne.
For county by county totals and more information regarding the Click It or Ticket program, contact Jonathan Bandy at 919-618-1974, or visit the GHSP website.