TALLHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Homestead Police Department have joined law enforcement nationwide in a “Click it or Ticket” campaign.
Beginning Monday through June 2nd, officers and troopers will crack down on drivers and passengers who are not buckled up.READ MORE: Miss USA Asya Branch Could Make History In Sunday's Miss Universe Competition At Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino
“As we kick off the busy summer driving season it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night – no excuses,” said Homestead Police Chief Alexander E. Rolle Jr.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.READ MORE: Kid Reporter Damon Weaver, Who Interviewed Obama At White House, Has Died At 23
Deaths involving non-use of seat belts were more prevalent at night than during the daytime.
According to NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 people who died in vehicle crashes in 2011 did so during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
“Seat belts have saved thousands of lives and are one of the most effective safety tools in your vehicle. Buckle up Florida, it is the law,” said FHP Director Col. David Brierton.MORE NEWS: Goodwill Ambassador Volunteers Get Specialized Training Ahead Of Miami Beach's Busy Holiday Weekend
Florida’s safety belt law requires all front seat passengers to buckle up. Occupants under the age of 18 must wear their safety belts regardless of where they sit in a vehicle.