Linn County Undersheriff Paul Timm reports deputies are participating in another Click It or Ticket event, increasing enforcement for seatbelt use. This annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from August 19, 2019, to September 1, 2019. Deputies will join other agencies throughout Oregon, using federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety belt and child seat laws. Deputies will emphasize child passenger safety to make sure all parents and caregivers are correctly using the right car seats (rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and/or booster seats) or seatbelts for their children’s ages and sizes.
Click It or Ticket isn’t about citations; it’s about saving lives. In 2017, ODOT crash data shows lack of safety belt or child restraint use was a factor in 22% or 64 of a total 285 motor vehicle occupant fatalities. Safety belts used correctly can reduce the risk of major crash injury or death by up to 65% percent.
In 2017 an Oregon law was passed requiring children to ride in a rear-facing safety seat until they are at least two years old. A child over age two must continue to ride in a car seat with harness or in a booster until they reach age eight or 4’ 9” in height and the adult belt fits them correctly. The recent law, which extends the rear-facing requirement from the previous age one to age two, will better protect the child’s head, neck, and spine from potential crash injuries. This is because a rear-facing seat spreads crash forces evenly across the seat and child’s body while also limiting forward or sideways motion of the head.
For help selecting or installing child car seats, consult the seat manufacturer’s instructions, your vehicle owner’s manual, or visit a local child seat fitting station listed at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#inspection-inspection or at http://oregonimpact.org/car-seat-resources.htm.
Using Oregon Department of Transportation grant funds, additional deputies will be on the road this week looking for those who are not wearing their seatbelts.