NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Public Safety and the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program kicked off separate campaigns on Monday aimed at safe driving and heightened patrols to make sure divers are wearing seatbelts.
As you head out to your Memorial Day Weekend plans, you’ll see more state troopers along the roadways.
The goal for Click It or Ticket is to remind drivers and their passengers of the importance of buckling and the legal consequences – including fines – for not wearing a seat belt.
AAA Spokesperson Tiffany Wright said it’s still shocking that people still need to be reminded to buckle up in 2021.
“The one thing you definitely need to be doing is wearing your seatbelt. I think it’s a shame that unfortunately we’re still talking about that. Not just on holidays, but wearing your seatbelt should be a habit,” Wright said.
According to the NCDOT, violators of North Carolina’s seat belt law could be fined $180 (or $266 if a passenger under age 16 is not properly restrained). That doesn’t include the potential cost of a lost life.
Trooper Joe Hovis with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said we are in the most deadly time of year for traffic accidents — that’s why this pro-seatbelt campaign matters.
“Almost 50% of people who die on our roads is because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt. We’d like to keep you around a little longer, highway patrol would like to keep you people around a little bit longer so you can enjoy time with your families,” Hovis said.
Last year 366 people lost their lives in South Carolina between the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, also known as the 100 deadliest days of summer.
“So far this year, 259 of the 366 people who have died in motor vehicle collisions (with access to seat belts) were not buckled up,” said SCHP Col. Chris Williamson. “We know seat belts save lives, and that is why our troopers will be placing an emphasis on safety belt and child restraint violations in an effort to keep motorists safe on our highways this summer.”
Hovis said only about 7% of drivers in South Carolina don’t wear seat belts but non seat-belted drivers make up 47% of all traffic deaths.
The Buckle Up SC and Click It or Ticket campaigns will last until June 6th.