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State, local police to conduct spring Nighttime Seat Belt patrols

In a show of solidarity, every law enforcement agency participating in the Nighttime Seat Belt patrols, will have officers out on the roadways May 21 – the official start date of the spring enforcement patrols.

“We all felt it was important to show our commitment for these patrols and for putting an end to needless and preventable deaths and injuries as a result of crashes in which the driver or passengers were unbuckled,” said Sgt. John Cagle, Kent Police Department.

Who is participating locally?

In King County, the Auburn, Black Diamond, Burien, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Redmond, Renton, SeaTac and Shoreline police departments and the Washington State Patrol will be participating in the collaborative effort with the assistance of the King County Traffic Safety Coalition.

Statewide, approximately 70 law enforcement agencies are participating in the Nighttime Seat Belt patrols between May 21 and June 7.

Why do the patrols take place at nighttime?

Research shows that approximately 80 percent of Washington traffic occurs during the day, and only 12-20 percent occurs at night. Even with this difference in traffic volume, the number of people killed at night in traffic collisions is about the same as the number of people killed during the day. This means that the death rate at night is four times higher than during the day.

Who still isn’t buckling up?

According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, unbuckled drivers are more likely to be male, have less education, have numerous traffic violations on their records (DUI, running red lights, following too closely, speeding), and have no health insurance. The number of unbelted drivers without health insurance was higher by a ratio of two to one, compared to belted drivers.

What else is happening during the patrols?

On May 25, between 4 and 5 p.m., the Click it or Ticket message takes to the skies as an aerial banner will be flown over the Seattle Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center to remind motorists to buckle up as soon as they get in the car – Click It or Ticket!

For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission visit

www.wtsc.wa.gov.

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