The ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign in Spokane County is turning ten! In June 2002, when the primary seat belt law went into effect, approximately 82 percent of Washington drivers wore seat belts. Today we celebrate a seat belt use rate of 97.5 percent, according to a news release sent out today by Spokane County.

During the past ten years, it is estimated that nearly 1,010 lives were saved due to increases in seat belt use. After the adoption of the Click it or Ticket project, with the primary seat belt law enforcement, the number of traffic deaths dropped from 658 in 2002 to 454 in 2011 (preliminary data).

Studies show that seat belt use decreases the chance of dying in a crash by 60 percent and reduces the risk of head injury by 80 percent. This is why between May 21 and June 3, Spokane County drivers can expect to see law enforcement patrolling city and county roadways in search of unbuckled drivers and passengers.

The Cheney, City of Airway Heights, Eastern Washington University, Spokane and Spokane Valley Police Departments, the Spokane and Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol will be participating in these extra patrols, with the support of the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force.

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