The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration are partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, state and local law enforcement to kick off the annual Click It or Ticket seat belt safety campaign with Border 2 Border, a one-day national seat belt awareness event on May 20.

“Buckling your seatbelt is probably the single easiest thing you can do to protect yourself when you get in your car to drive,” said Christopher Klein, deputy principal assistant, Department of Safety & Homeland Security & DOHS, acting director. “Delaware has a high seat belt use rate, however in 2018, 53% of vehicle occupants killed were unbuckled.”

In Delaware, 92.4% of drivers and front-seat passengers wear seat belts. For Maryland, 90.3% of drivers and front-seat passengers wear seat belts when traveling on state roadways, which is down from 92% in 2017. One in three occupants who die in a motor vehicle crash each year are unbelted.

Law enforcement across the region will join a multi-state seat belt enforcement effort May 20 to initiate the Border 2 Border 2019 initiative, which includes a four-hour enforcement crackdown from 4 to 8 p.m. to address nighttime belt use, as that is when seat belt use is at its lowest. Local and national ads will run on billboards, television, radio and online through early June to generate awareness of this stepped-up enforcement.

Unbuckled passengers can become projectiles in a crash, causing serious or fatal injuries to others in the car. In 2018, 70% of back seat occupants in cars, SUVs and pick-up trucks were buckled up in Maryland.

In Delaware, drivers will be cited for anyone in the car not wearing a seat belt or properly restraining a child. This is a primary offense. The penalty is $25 but with court costs and fees, the ticket will be $83.50.

In Maryland, every driver and passenger must wear a seat belt. Children under the age of eight must be in a proper booster or child safety seat. Each person not buckled will receive an $83 citation.

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