Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of summer, a time when many take to the roads for an annual vacation or shorter weekend getaways.
It’s also the time law enforcement officials are reminding motorists to use their seat belts.
The Westlake Police Department, State Farm Insurance and the Cuyahoga County Safe Communities Coalition are offering Safe Summer Travel kits to residents. The free kits contain items that the sponsors believe will make summer travel fun, easy and safe.
The kits contain:
- a tire gauge
- a road atlas
- $5 gas gift card
- a children’s activity books and crayons
- a gift certificates for free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches
- accident report guides
- a seat belt tip sheet
These kits are being distributed to promote the national ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign by Safe Communities Coalition member agencies.
More than 900 law enforcement partners around Ohio, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, will be aggressively enforcing the law during a national “Click It or Ticket” campaign that runs through June 5.
Failing to wear a seat belt is a secondary offense in Ohio, meaning police cannot pull over a motorist for simply not buckling up. The main focus of the program is safety, Krumheuer said.
“The message of this program is to remind motorists to buckle up,” Sgt. Mark Krumheuer of the Westlake Police Department said. “‘Click It or Ticket’ is not about writing tickets. It’s about saving lives by getting more people, drivers and passengers, to buckle up regularly. Buckling up is the single most effective thing a motorist can do to protect themselves in the event of a crash.”
Fines for not wearing a seat belt are $116 for the driver, $106 for a passenger, Krumheuer said.
The summer travel kits are available at the Westlake Police Department, 27300 Hilliard Blvd. Quantities are limited and available only while supplies last.
According to the Safe Communities Coalition, using seat belts reduces the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent – 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Buckling up also increases the odds of survival in a rollover crash in a light truck by nearly 80 percent.
“By modeling safe driving behavior and always buckling up – and insisting passengers do the same – you can help protect yourself and your friends and family from dying in a motor vehicle crash,” Krumheuer said. “We’re hoping the materials from this kit will serve as a reminder for everyone in the car to buckle up.”
The kits are provided in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Safe Communities Coalition, with the support of State Farm Insurance, WMMS and Chick-fil-A.