Washington, D.C.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – U.S. Newswire)–May 15, 2003–Teens and young adults can expect to see or hear a stern warning to buckle up their seat belts over the next two weeks. The largest nationwide seat belt crackdown in U.S. history will be supported by nearly $25 million in national and state television and radio advertising to reach those least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in a traffic crash. The national Click It Or Ticket Mobilization, beginning May 19th and continuing through June 1st, is based on a public health model proven to increase belt use.
The national television ads can be seen on several major networks and feature people driving in several regions of the country without their seat belts on. In all cases, they receive a ticket, and then buckle up. Ads will also be run locally in 43 states.
In an effort to reach Hispanic teens and young adults, who are more likely to die in traffic crashes and have lower belt use, ads will also air on Univision.
“The placement of the ads is targeted to reach those least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in a vehicle crash,” said Chuck Hurley, Executive Director of the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign, which pioneered national seat belt enforcement mobilizations beginning in 1997. “The ads reach young people who we traditionally can’t reach effectively through the news media.”
The ads can be seen on such Univision programs as Novelas, Cristina, Cine de Estrellas, Gran Musical, and Ver Para Creer – all programs that deliver large audiences of Hispanic teens and young adults.
Hundreds of thousands of officers from more than 12,000 law enforcement agencies in all fifty states, D.C., and Puerto Rico will participate in the unprecedented effort. Congress allocated the money for advertising after multi-state tests last year demonstrated Click It Or Ticket could produce significant increases in seat belt use.
Research shows that by-in-large young people for the most part do not respond to the threat of injury or death in a vehicle crash—they don’t perceive that threat as real. But they do respond to the possibility of a ticket.
During the Mobilization, law enforcement officers will intensify enforcement of seat belt and child passenger safety laws by setting up checkpoints or saturation patrols. Seat belt violators and drivers failing to restrain their child passengers will be ticketed.
Teens and Young Adults Face the Greatest Risk on the Road
— In 2002, nearly 5,900 teens and young adults ages 16-20, died in traffic crashes last year and thousands more were injured. Two thirds of those killed were not buckled up.
— A recent medical study showed that Hispanic drivers have lower seat belt use rates than non-Hispanic whites, with correspondingly higher fatality rates in traffic crashes.
— Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Hispanics from 1-44 years of age, and are the third leading cause of death for Hispanics of all ages, surpassed only by heart disease and cancer.
Air Bag and Seat Belt Campaign