South Carolina’s Buckle Up Seatbelt Campaign Begins in Time for Summer Road Trips
Summer is a busy season for drivers. Children are out of school, and many families go on vacation. That means that drivers and passengers alike should be aware of seatbelt safety.
South Carolina has officially launched the state’s annual Buckle Up South Carolina seatbelt campaign. The program includes additional seatbelt safety enforcement, as well as education outreach.
The seatbelt program launched on Wednesday, May 14th, which law enforcement officials dub “100 Deadly Days of Summer” – the span from just before Memorial Day through the end of summer over Labor Day. This period sees the highest rate of traffic accidents across the country, which means that safety campaigns like Buckle Up are hugely important to prevent deadly disasters.
According to National Safety Council statistics, if seatbelts were used 90% of the time in every state, “1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented.” However, as of 2009, seatbelt use across the country was 88% – up from 1998, when seatbelt use was only 69%. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta show that adults who live in rural areas are 10 percent less likely to wear seat belts (78 percent use) than adults who live in urban and suburban areas (87 percent use). The report notes that seatbelt use can reduce serious car crash injuries and deaths by 50%, and that airbags and seatbelts together provide the greatest amount of safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that seatbelt use is lowest among young drivers, who are also the highest risk-takers on the roads.
Car accident deaths are down in South Carolina over the last year, as well. From the beginning of this year through May 11th, 248 people died in car crashes on South Carolina highways, but that number is down slightly from the same time period last year, when 251 people died in accidents.
According to current South Carolina law, drivers, who are legal adults, are responsible for ensuring that passengers 17 years old or younger are wearing seatbelts. Legally, all passengers and drivers in South Carolina must wear seatbelts. Drivers can be fined up to $25 per violation, up to a total of $50 per traffic stop. However, no points will be assessed for the offense.
“While more people are buckling up during the day, far too many choose to disobey the law at night when the risk of getting into a fatal collision actually rises,” said Leroy Smith, director of the state Department of Public Safety, during last year’s Buck Up South Carolina campaign. “The simple act of buckling up could save hundreds of lives each year. We want to bring a focus on this deadly trend, especially going into summer when travel on our roads will increase.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Seatbelt Safety
If you or a loved one have been pulled over due to a traffic violation, such as improper seatbelt safety, distracted driving, or DUI, you do not have to face the charges alone. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the complexities of traffic safety regulations in South Carolina, and can help you fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. 803.252.4800.