Too Much Turkey Is No Excuse for Not Tightening Your Seat Belt

Buckle Up America

The Broome County Traffic Safety Board and Local Law Enforcement Urge Drivers and Passengers to Buckle Up America. Every Trip. Every Time.

BINGHAMTON, NYWith the holidays upon us and millions of Americans hitting the road, the Broome County Traffic Safety Board and area law enforcement want everyone to arrive safely at their destinations. They want drivers and passengers alike to remember, Buckle Up America. Every Trip. Every Time. 
“Many of us over-indulge in holiday goodies and loosen our belts a little after dinner,” said Joseph Nirchi, Broome County Traffic Safety Board Chair. “But remember, there’s nothing that should keep you from tightening your seat belt when you get in a motor vehicle. The potential consequences are just too great.” 
Broome County will be doing its part by using a combination of education and enforcement to spread the seat belt message. Drivers and passengers should be on the lookout as law enforcement agencies such as Binghamton, Johnson City and the New York State Police will be out in force sending the strong message to Click It or Ticket. These agencies will be actively looking for unbuckled drivers and passengers. Wearing a seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it could cost you a ticket or worse…your life.
The Broome County Traffic Safety Program has also been active this fall in educating young drivers and passengers about the importance of using a seat belt. The Keeping it Real Behind the Wheel program focuses on distracted driving, drowsy driving and safety belt use. Teen drivers learn not only the consequences of dangerous driving behaviors but also the failure to buckle up. Students at the Binghamton High School and the Drivers Education Class at Broome Community College have participated in this program. Both Union Endicott and Harpursville High Schools plan to have their health classes participate in the program this month.
While seat belt use is at a record high of 83 percent nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on any given day about 38 percent who are not buckled are killed in motor vehicle crashes. 
In 2008 alone, nearly 13,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways. It is estimated that nearly one third of these lives could have been saved if they had been properly belted. NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle up are teens; young adults; males; nighttime riders; motorists traveling on rural roads; and individuals traveling in pickup trucks. 
The 2008 Thanksgiving holiday season was no different, from Monday, November 17th, to Monday, December 1st, 120 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Tragically, more than half of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
“The message that seat belts save lives is getting through to people and fewer and fewer are dying each year,” said Nirchi. “Sadly, too many people still fail to heed the warning and ignore the evidence that failure to buckle up can turn the happiest of holidays into a nightmare.”
According to NHTSA, regular seat belt use is the single more effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicles crashes. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent. 
For more information about highway safety during Thanksgiving, please visit


11/10/2010 - 10:00am