MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A safety belt can be a life saving device. But if you don’t know the seatbelt laws, it can be expensive and deadly on and off base.
The Click it or Ticket program is a statewide program to save lives by increasing the number of people using their seatbelts, and the base Provost Marshal’s Office is doing their part in keeping drivers buckled up.
The program uses a two-pronged attack to increase the use of safety belts. The first is by making it known to everyone through the media that there is an increased risk of a ticket if a person doesn’t buckle up. The second is by increasing the efforts to catch people who don’t wear their seat belt by setting up roadblocks.
The Click it or Ticket program has not only helped to ensure safety but has also saved money, according to the Web site www.ncdot.org. Serious and fatal highway injuries have decreased by 14 percent Since the program began in 1993 saving the state at least $135 million in health care-related costs.
Drivers can also save money in fines by buckling up. Off base, a driver will receive an automatic court fee of $100 in addition to a fine and receive a 30-day suspension of driving privileges on base if someone is seen not wearing their seatbelt the driver can be given a ticket, according to Sgt. Anthony M. Re, a team leader with Military Police Battalion, Marine Corps Base. The suspension increases from 30 days to 60 days and then to 90 days for each subsequent ticket, according to Re.
Drivers can also receive tickets if their passenger does not have his seatbelt fastened on base.
“The driver of the car is responsible for all the passengers,” Re said.
The responsibility of safety is in the driver’s control, however, if a staff noncommissioned officer, a warrant officer, or an officer see a service member driving without a seatbelt on, they can report it to PMO and the person can receive a ticket.
This safety measure began in 1993 when Gov. Jim Hunt launched this program to increase safety belt use and child safety by increasing enforcement of the state’s safety belt laws, according to the Web site.
Millions of deaths and injuries are caused in North Carolina because people do not use their safety belts. This program makes it so people buckle up more often, according to Re. This year there have been no vehicle related fatalities on base.
“If you’re wearing your seatbelt and you are in an automobile accident, the seatbelt will dramatically increase your chances of surviving,” Re said. “We have a lot of roll over crashes and seatbelts kept them alive.”