SANTA FE ― Nearly 27.5 million Americans don’t buckle up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is almost the entire population of Texas.
In New Mexico, from 2013-2017, there were 2,284 unbelted people hurt or killed in crashes and in 2017, there were more than 10,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the U.S., according to the NHTSA.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation and its partners want to stress to all New Mexicans: Seat belt safety is imperative.
“Seat belts save lives, and everyone, front seat and back, children and adults, need to remember to buckle up every trip, every time,” Transportation Secretary Michael Sandoval said.
“By far, buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save a life during a crash,” Sandoval said. “We’ve seen the consequences of not wearing a seat belt. We see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt.There’s no excuse good enough for not buckling up. It only takes a few seconds and it’s not an option, it’s the law.”
As part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign, law enforcement throughout New Mexico will be stepping up enforcement and watching closely for seat belt offenders. Last year, state law enforcement handed out more than 10,000 seat belt citations and nearly 1,400 child restraint citations. During the “Click it or Ticket” enforcement timeframe alone, roughly 1,400 seat belt citations and 75 child restraint citations were issued in 2018.
This year’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign runs May 20 to June 2. Be aware: Law enforcement throughout New Mexico will be taking a no-excuse approach to seat belt use.