With the holidays upon us and millions of Americans hitting the roads, the Forest Park Police Department wants everyone to arrive safely at their destinations. So, drivers and passengers be on the look out, the Forest Park Police Department will be out in force sending the strong message to “Click It or Ticket.”

No one wants to start the holidays off wrong with a ticket. While seat belt use is at a record high of 83 percent nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Safety Administration, on any given day about 38 passenger vehicle occupants who are not buckled up are killed in motor vehicle crashes.

In 2008 alone, nearly 13,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways. It is estimated that nearly one third of these lives could have been saved if they had been properly belted. NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle up are teens; young adult; males; nighttime riders; motorists traveling on rural roads; and individuals traveling in pickup trucks.

“Sadly, the holidays, which for many are the happiest time of the year, is also one of the deadliest and most tragic,” said Police Chief Jim Ryan.

From the Illinois Department of Transportation statistics from the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday enforcement, running from Monday, Nov. 17 to Monday, Dec. 1, 2008, 1,120 vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Tragically, more than half of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash, where restraint use was known.

“Wearing a seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it could cost you a ticket or worse…your life,” stated Chief Ryan.

For more information about the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign for highway safety during Thanksgiving, please visit www.trafficsafety

Forest Park Police Department