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SEAT-BELT CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS

SEAT-BELT CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS

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Seat-Belt Awareness Up State says 'Click It’ campaign worked well. The program coodinator for Tennessee's “Click It or Ticket” campaign says the program has been a major success, raising the state’s seatbelt usage more than 20 percent. The campaign, conducted across Tennessee and seven other southeastern states, resulted in a nine percent increase in seat belt use for the region and a 20 percent increase in Tennessee. Rick Casebeer, the project coordinator the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, issued a recent press release that claimed more than 4.5 million additional people are buckling up in the Southeast. The first wave of the campaign ran from May 21th to June 3rd and the second from June 25th to July 8th. During those periods police set up roadblocks and stringently enforced seatbelt laws for all motorists they stopped. “We set the dates around holidays because they are heavily traveled,” Casebeer says. “We want to encourage the most amount of people to buckle up as we can.” The $3.75 million dollar campaign was also in effect in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Between the eight states, the percentage increase ranged from four to 20 percent. Memphis is one of the only areas within the eight-state region to have a primary seatbelt law, a fact which makes it easier to enforce the Click It or Ticket campaign. One more wave of the campaign is planned for August 27th through September 9th. It has not been announced if the campaign will continue after that period or not. “We are hoping it continues, because as long as it does we are saving lives and saving billions of dollars in healthcare,” Casebeer says. The state is down 106 traffic fatalities from last year, some of which Casebeer says can be attributed to the higher use of seat belts. Casebeer adds that this campaign, as the most intense, has also brought about the best results. “We hoped we could raise the seat belt use 10 percent with this campaign and we are more than pleased to know it has succeeded far past our expectations,” Casebeer says.

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