For two weeks each year, the spotlight -- and often, the flashing red lights of a police car -- shine attention on the importance of wearing a seat belt.
The "click it or ticket" program, which starts Monday and runs through June 3 in Greater New Milford and all across America, targets those who are not wearing seat belts.
We believe there are no good reasons -- none -- for failing to wear a seat belt. It takes but a moment to comply with the seat belt law, to set the right example for children and, most importantly, to help save lives.
During the last five years of the "click it or ticket" campaign, more than 3 million seat belt citations have been issued by local and state police, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
And yet, the most compelling NHTSA statistics are the ones documenting the number of people who might have survived car accidents if they had been wearing seat belts.
Consider: 78 percent of passenger vehicle occupants ejected during an accident -- nearly 8 out of 10 -- die as a result of their injuries, according to the NHTSA.
In addition, 70 percent of unbuckled 18- to 34-year-old occupants of passenger vehicles involved in rural crashes at night die from their injuries, according to NHTSA figures.
Seat belts save lives year-round, not just during a two-week police blitz each May. The "click it or ticket" program is a reminder to all drivers you are never too busy or too inconvenienced to put on a seat belt.
This message is especially prudent with the arrival of warmer weather and high school prom season, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and next month's high school graduation celebrations.
Seat belts, unlike fancy stereos, power sunroofs and alloy wheels, are not options for drivers. Don't wear a seat belt to avoid a ticket.
Wear one to save a life.