Safety Belt Blitz Kicks Off

When: May 23 – June 5, 2011
Where: Nationwide

Today, March 23rd, is the start of Oregon's second safety belt enforcement blitz of 2011.

The blitz is coordinated by a program of the ODOT Transportation Safety Division called “Three Flags.” It will last two weeks to coincide with the nationwide “Click It or Ticket” campaign promoted by USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is one of over 100 law enforcement agencies in Oregon that will conduct federally funded overtime enforcement to emphasize proper use of safety belts, belt positioning for booster seats, and the importance of driving at safe speeds.

Speeding and driver impairment are the factors that most often lead to serious injury crashes. According to USDOT, safety belt use is the most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Statewide crash fatality and injury rates have dropped 44% and 49% respectively since the passage of the adult belt law in 1990.

Unbelted or improperly belted occupants are five times more likely to be ejected in a crash than one who is belted. Odds of surviving ejection from a motor vehicle are estimated at one in four.

Oregon demonstrated a 97% belt use rate in 2010, ranking third in the nation. In fact, Oregon converted 36% of non-belt users to users between 2007 and 2010, more than any other state during the same time period. Among all states, the safety belt use average is 86%.

Three Flags derives its name from a prior effort between Oregon, Washington and British Columbia that lasted from 1993-2004. It is now an Oregon program that “seeks to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries by increasing public awareness of laws regarding the three most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crash injuries: safety restraint use, speed, and impaired drivers.” For more information on the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/CIOT.

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