Police Officers' Association of Nebraska
A contributing member of the Law Enforcement Community since 1953.
By Bill Sullivan, NHTSA Region 7 Law Enforcement Liaison
Some good news! In 2007 traffic deaths dropped to their lowest number since 1994, while serious injuries dropped to their lowest level since 1988. The drops were in actual numbers of deaths and serious injuries and in the rates by miles driven. While not all the numbers are in yet, it appears that 2008 could set another record for fewest traffic deaths and serious traffic injuries. National seat belt usage rates climbed to a record 83%, and have risen steadily since 1994. Much of this success is due to the hard work of law enforcement, enforcing traffic laws. A contributing factor of this historically high seat belt use is high-visibility law enforcement efforts, such as the national "Click It or Ticket” campaign.
What is Click it or Ticket?
Click it or Ticket as described by the NHTSA website: Every year during this holiday period, law enforcement agencies join forces day and night, from coast-to-coast, for an enforcement blitz that delivers on our message Click It or Ticket. The mobilization is supported by national and local paid advertising and earned media campaigns aimed at raising awareness before the blitz that ... Day or Night - Buckle Up or Pay Up.
The Click it or Ticket enforcement period starts May 18th and runs through May 31st, 2009. This national campaign is supported through the efforts of local law enforcement in every state. Local agencies are encouraged to develop high visibility occupant protection enforcement strategies that are tailored to their communities.
How does my law enforcement agency participate?
All you need to do to participate is contact your State Highway Safety Office and sign up. There may be STEP (Special Traffic Enforcement Program) grants available to assist your department with overtime reimbursements for officers to conduct high visibility traffic enforcement focusing on occupant protection violations. Whether you utilize grant funding or not, you are still encouraged to sign up your agency and participate. Remember to report your agency's results when the campaign is over. Again, your state highway safety office will have all the details. You are also encouraged to contact your local media and community groups to get out the message. In order to assist you with these contacts, the NHTSA web site has a Law Enforcement Action Kit that includes talking points, a sample press release, op ed articles, outreach materials, and Spanish language materials. More information is available at www.nhtsa.gov .
The good news is seat belt use across the nation is on the rise. We still have more work to do to keep up this positive trend. To quote a famous football coach, “you either get better or you get worse, you don't stay the same.” By participating in Click it or Ticket, and engaging in high visibility traffic enforcement 24/7, we will continue to get better and save more lives!
Dear Nebraska Law Enforcement Officers:
My name is Bill Sullivan and I am the new Law Enforcement Liaison for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in Region 7. Region 7 includes Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. I am a retired Police Major from Olathe Kansas, a suburban Kansas City area police department. I am also a graduate from the 203rd Session of the FBI National Academy.
Part of my job is to encourage area law enforcement agencies to participate in upcoming national traffic safety campaigns. The next major national campaign is Click it or Ticket . This campaign starts on May 18th and ends on May 31st . Law enforcement from all across the country will be conducting special traffic enforcement during these days with an emphasis on enforcing seat belt laws. There will be targeted national media coverage on seat belt enforcement during this time.
As seat belt compliance rates increase, fatalities decrease. Study after study has shown that the number one strategy for obtaining seat belt compliance is aggressive traffic enforcement, combined with targeted media campaigns.
As your NHTSA Law Enforcement Liaison I am available to offer assistance on traffic enforcement issues, training or traffic programs tailored to your community.
Again, I encourage you to participate in the upcoming Click it or Ticket campaign. Together we can save lives and reduce severe injuries from traffic crashes. For more information, assistance or any questions do not hesitate to contact me. I am looking forward to working with you in the future.
Bill Sullivan Law Enforcement Liaison
Bill Sullivan, LEL NHTSA Region 7