SPARTA, NJ - As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, Sparta Township Police are urging everyone to buckle up.   Beginning May 18, 2015, law enforcement officials will be out in full force, taking part in the 2015 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.

“As we kick-off the busy summer driving season, it is critical that everyone buckles up every time they go out, day and night – no excuses,” said Dennis Proctor.  “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt, including drivers that have neglected to properly buckle their children.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 9,580passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2013 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.And unbelted fatalities are more prevalent at night than during the daytime:  59 percent of those killed in 2013 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. unbelted at the time of the crash. 

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Tragically, these national statistics are mirrored locally. In 2013, New Jersey experienced over 4,000 crashes where an occupant was notwearing his or her seat belt, resulting in 142 fatalities. Unbelted motorists and passengers accounted for 26 percentof motor vehicle fatalities in 2013.

“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater, it’s the difference between life and death in a crash,” said Proctor. “That’s why we’re out here enforcing the law.”

From 2008 to 2012, seat belts have saved nearly 63,000lives nationwide. So while this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 18 through 31, officers will continue to save lives by enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.