State police in Virginia have been targeting drivers who are travelling too fast and failing to wear seat belts.
The safety campaign Operation Air, Land and Speed, coincides with the start of a statewide "Click It or Ticket" campaign, which ends June 5, is intended to boost seat belt, use reducing personal injuries, the Roanoke Times reports.
Over the weekend and on Monday, police saturated Interstates 81 and 95 looking out for speeders. These operations have netted a total of 163,664 summonses and arrests since 2006.
"Click it or Ticket is a high visibility enforcement program designed to raise safety belt usage and save drivers and passengers from death or serious injury on the streets and highways of the Commonwealth," state police said. Officers also look out for child safety seat violations.
Police said Virginia's statewide safety belt compliance rate is currently 80.5 percent. The campaign aims to boost it to 83.7. As experienced personal injury attorneys based in Virginia we are alarmed that almost a fifth of all drivers in the state continue not to wear seat belts.
See this seat belt safety video.
Sadly we have reported on numerous accidents,. including the deaths of two teenage girls from Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), who might still be alive today had they been wearing seat belts. Just this month we reported on how a 22-year-old driver from York County, VA, who died when he hit a wall, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from his car.
Despite many campaigns such as Click It or Ticket" a staggering 63 percent of the 4,842 16- to 20-year-olds who died in vehicle accidents in 2006 were not wearing seat belts, statics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal.
Despite the weight of evidence that seat belts save lives and lessens the effects of injuries, Virginia remains a secondary enforcement state. This means a police officer must see another traffic violation before a driver is pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. According to NHTSA, primary enforcement laws increase safety belt use by about 11 percent. States which have enacted primary enforcement laws include North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC) and Maryland (MD).
State police do what they can within the constraints of the law. Our personal injury attorneys based in Virginia Beach, VA, note speed is the biggest killer on the road, but combined with factors such as failure to wear a seat belt, or alcohol, the consequences can all to often be tragic.