Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner
According to the Wikipedia entry for Click It or Ticket, “Before 1980, usage of seat belts in the United States lingered around 11% despite volunteer and educational campaigns at local, county, and state levels. Between 1980 and 1984, individual organizations, public education programs, incentives and policy changes strove to increase the use of seat belts. However, these efforts failed to significantly affect usage in large, metropolitan areas, and in by the end of the effort, national seat belt usage had reached only 15%.”
Over the past several years as more states enact “primary seat belt laws” (meaning an individual can be pulled over and ticketed for not wearing a seat belt) and NHTSA advocates an annual Click It or Ticket Campaign (beginning May 21, 2012), more drivers and their passengers are heeding the warning and using their seat belts. NHTSA statistics for 2011 show that seat belt use among drivers was 84%. However, one particular group continues to lead the statistics in non-compliance. The 2012 advertisements focus on male passengers ages 18-34, the group that makes up 66% of the unrestrained occupants killed in traffic crashes in 2010, by far the highest proportion among all occupants.
“If you try a seat belt fake-out, chances are you are going to get caught. Law enforcement officers are trained to spot unbelted drivers at any time of they day — and they do not issue fake tickets,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Seat belts save tens of thousands of lives every year and there is simply no good excuse for not buckling up.”
Not wearing your seat belt is not macho or an opportunity to show how tough you are. It’s just stupid. As the summer travel season approaches, please drive safely and buckle up.
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About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year” (2011). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2011 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2010)– national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.
If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at [email protected] or call him at 202-822-1899.