On May 23rd, saving drivers lives is the focus of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign which launched this week. The nationwide campaign encourages everyone to wear their seat belt on every trip.

“The few seconds it takes to buckle up can mean the difference between life and death,” says Washington State Patrol (WSP) Chief John Batiste. “Collisions can occur anywhere and anytime so taking that extra step to put on your seatbelt can keep you safe.”


Extra patrols will run from May 23 to June 5, 2016. The WSP along with Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) are sponsoring the effort.

100% seatbelt compliance is part of Washington State’s Target Zero strategic highway safety plan.

In 2015, 95% of Washington drivers wore seat belts according to WTSC 2015 annual seat belt survey.

Many people still think they’ll be safer if ejected during a crash. But in 2013, 79% of passenger vehicle occupants who were ejected from vehicles were killed. Each year in Washington, about 100 people who were not belted die in crashes.

Thanks in part to the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, the 2015 Washington seat belt use rate was 95% compared a nationwide rate of 89%.

Nationwide, the NHTSA says in 2014, seat belts saved an estimated 12,802 people from dying. From 2010 to 2014 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives.

The national seat belt use rate has steadily increased to 89% in 2015, but data from NHTSA show that almost half of passenger vehicle occupants (49%) who were killed in 2014 were unrestrained. In addition, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 41% killed during daytime. In 2014, men wore their seat belts at a lower rate than women did – 53% of men in fatal crashes were unbelted, compared to 40% of women.

In Washington State, a seat belt ticket is $136.

For a state by state seatbelt comparison click on this link: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812274.pdf

Washington deadly crash data is available by state and county here: http://wtsc.wa.gov/research-data/quarterly-target-zero-data/