316 SFS tickets safety violators
By Senior Airman Lora White, 316th Security Forces Squadron
/ Published May 04, 2007
ANDREWS AFB, Md. --
The 316th Security Forces Squadron will join more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies in the National Click-It or Ticket Mobilization, which runs from May 12 - 31.
The Maryland seat belt use rate increased 45 percent as a result of stepped-up enforcement of the 2006 seat belt crackdown. That still leaves a lot of people driving unbuckled and breaking the law.
"Failure to wear a seat belt is against the law in this state. We enforce this law because it's the best proven way to save lives. If you won't buckle up to save your life, then buckle up to save yourself a ticket," said Tech. Sgt. Emmett Mack, 316 SFS Law Enforcement Administra tion NCOIC.
"One of the ways to promote seat belt usage in the Andrews Air Force Base community is to spread the word over the Commanders' Access Channel. Our installation entry controllers brief the importance of wearing your seat belt while entering onto the installation, too," said Tech. Sgt. Thad L. Cooper, 316 SFS flight chief.
"While national seat belt use is at one of its all time highs at 81 percent, we still have the remaining 19 percent to convince that seat belts save lives," said Sergeant Mack.
"Andrews Air Force Base had 16 violations for not having a child in a restraint while operating a moving vehicle and 88 citations for operating a moving vehicle without the use of a seat belt last year," said Staff Sgt. Matt F. Colomo, 316 SFS Reports and Analysis NCO.
During the national Click-It or Ticket Mobilization, officers will intensify enforcement of seat belt laws and child passenger safety laws by staging base entry checkpoints and increasing patrols in base housing area. Anyone violating the seat belt law, including passengers, will be ticketed.
"Enforcement gets people to buckle up! Seat belt use in the states that conduct high visibility enforcement is 10 to 15 percentage points higher than in states that simply conduct public education," says Sergeant Mack "If every state conducted high visibility enforcement, we could possibly save 5,000 lives each year."
High-visibility enforcement relies on periods of intense enforcement of seat belt laws, coupled with media outreach, to let people know about the enforcement. For many non-seat belt users, especially young people, the threat of a ticket has proven to be a greater incentive to buckle up than the threat of injury or death.
"We want to reach those least likely to buckle up and those at a greater risk to die," says Chuck Hurley, Executive Director of the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign.
The 316 SFS participates in the Mobilizations because they work. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently reported that child fatalities from traffic crashes have declined by 23 percent since 1997, when the Mobilizations began. The Department of Transportation has credited the Mobilizations as significantly contributing to this decline and increasing child restraint use.