Evanston police officials say the department will join a national enforcement campaign starting May 19 to persuade motorists to wear their seat belts day and night.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics suggest compliance with seat belt laws is worse at night than during the day. Sixty-four percent of motorists killed at night were not buckled up, compared to 46 percent of those killed in daytime accidents.
"Clearly this is an indication that these individuals are not taking the law seriously," Chief Richard Eddington says. "That’s why we’ll be out in force making sure that all passengers, in all vehicles, are buckled up — day and night."
Eddington said regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. He said that when worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent – and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans.
Yet nearly one in five Americans still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in motor vehicles, according to NHTSA studies.
Stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted during the national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement mobilization through June 1.
Eddington said, “Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it certainly will. So unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse – your life — please remember to buckle up day and night."