RALEIGH – The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program partnered with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office today to host a statewide launch of the Click It or Ticket campaign.
The annual Thanksgiving campaign has a primary purpose: reminding drivers and passengers to buckle up in every vehicle, every time.
“We issue tickets to remind drivers and passengers that seat belt use isn’t a suggestion, it’s the law,” said Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead, who spoke at the event at the Durham County Memorial Stadium. “Whether you’re driving cross-country or across the street, it is essential that you wear a safety belt. This simple decision may very well mean the difference between life and death. This Thanksgiving, and every day of the year, remember: Click It or Ticket."
Lack of seatbelt use is a primary contributor to fatalities and injuries in vehicle crashes, and more than 40% of automobile fatalities are unbuckled. Last year in North Carolina, 563 people died, and 6,490 were seriously injured in unbuckled crashes, including 33 people in Durham County.
A total 17 people were killed and 91 injured during the week of Thanksgiving in 2022, according to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
“Thanksgiving means more travel on North Carolina roads, and most motorists will follow the law and buckle up because using a seat belt can drastically improve your chances of surviving a car crash or avoiding serious injury,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Mark Ezzell.
Until Nov. 26, law enforcement officials across the state will be heavily patrolling roads to keep drivers safe during the busy week of holiday travel. North Carolina law requires all passengers in a vehicle to be properly restrained. Violations are punishable by fines and fees up to $187.
Other speakers at today’s campaign kickoff included Ezzell and Chief Mark Lockhart from the Durham County Office of Emergency Services.