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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 19, 2008

Media Contact: Mary Ann Rayment
Department of Motor Vehicles
(757) 416-1741
(757)406-5033 (cellular)

Virginia Launches Click It or Ticket
Law Enforcement Boosting Activities to Save Lives on Virginia Roads

RICHMOND - In an effort to save more lives on Virginia's roadways, the Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) Virginia Highway Safety Office is partnering with law enforcement across Virginia and the nation to increase seat belt and child safety seat use with the Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization.

According to preliminary numbers from the Highway Safety Office, 1,026 people died on Virginia roads in 2007, and 749 of those deaths occurred in vehicles equipped with safety restraints. Sixty percent (452) of the 749 people who died were not wearing restraints.

"Virginia experienced the highest number of roadway fatalities in a decade in 2007, and far too many of these tragedies were due to someone not buckling up," said D. B. Smit, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner, the Governor's highway safety representative. "Clearly, this needs to change, and that is why we are joining with law enforcement to enforce all traffic laws so that needless deaths will be prevented."

"The goal for seat belt use in Virginia for 2008 is 82 percent, which will require all of us to remember to buckle up. If you don't, our law enforcement community will be out in force to remind you," Smit said. "Virginians are known for taking a challenge and exceeding expectations. I challenge everyone in Virginia to make the commitment to this goal that will reduce the number of fatalities on our roads."

In Virginia, law enforcement can cite drivers of vehicles where occupants under age 16 are not wearing seat belts or are not properly restrained in a child safety seat. Drivers stopped for other violations can be cited if they are not buckled up. This law also applies to all front seat passengers 16 years and older.

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