Wilmington Police Awarded Grant To Increase Seat Belt Use

Below is a press release from the Wilmington Police Department:

WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Police Department was awarded a grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research (OGR) to increase the number of patrols and to remind drivers and passengers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt. Wilmington police will join other departments across the state and the Massachusetts Department of State Police in the national Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign.

“Wearing a seat belt is the number one thing you can do to avoid injury or death in the event of a crash,” said Chief Joseph Desmond of the Wilmington Police Department. “We respond to numerous crashes each year where there is extensive vehicle damage , but the occupants are uninjured solely because they were wearing their seatbelts. The funds from this grant will allow us to put more officers on the street to educate the public and to help end these preventable tragedies. “

“Seat belts are the best way to protect yourself from dangerous drivers,“ said Kevin Stanton, Executive Director of the OGR. “You might be an excellent driver, but not everyone else is. Seat belts are your best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.”

“Seat belts save lives. It’s as simple as that,” said Jeff Larason, Division Director of the OGR’s Highway Safety Division. “Massachusetts has one of the lowest seat belt use rates in the nation. We need to change that.”

DATA:

  • Massachusetts’ seat belt use rate is consistently lower than the national average, ranking 45th in the 2019 seat belt observational study.
  • At 81.6% use, over 1.2 million Bay Staters still are not regularly buckling up.  The national seat belt use rate is 90.7% (2019)
  • In Massachusetts, a larger percentage of pickup trucks (71%) and SUVs (65%) fatalities are unrestrained compared to passenger cars (60%).
  • According to NHTSA, seat belts saved an estimated 61 lives in Massachusetts in 2018.
  • 68% of nighttime fatalities are unrestrained in Massachusetts compared to 55% of unrestrained daytime fatalities.

For more information on the OGR’s Municipal Road Safety and distracted driving enforcement grant program, please visit www.mass.gov/service-details/traffic-safety-grants.

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