A special traffic enforcement program called “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) was conducted between April 28 and June 15 (2014) in Alabama. Multiple agencies and organizations participated in this effort, under the leadership of the Office of Highway Safety in the Law Enforcement/Traffic Safety (LETS) Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). Waves of public education and enforcement were conducted, working toward the single goal of improving seat belt use to increase highway safety.
Seat belt use was evaluated in two primary ways:
- direct observation of vehicles, based upon a carefully designed sampling technique
- a telephone survey
Before and after seat belt usage rates were evaluated by direct observation, and after rates were evaluated through the telephone surveys.
The evaluations showed that overall Alabamians are getting the message; they know they should be wearing their seat belts. Restraint use declined only slightly from 95.70% in 2014 to 93.29% in 2015. Overall, the CIOT campaign was a great success. Overall, the CIOT campaign was a great success. Some of the other important facts and findings from the program are summarized below:
- Women wore their seat belts a greater percentage of the time than men (94.6% vs. 90.8%).
- The child restraint usage rate was estimated to be 96.4%.
- 60% of phone respondents had seen or heard the seat belt message in the past month.
- 73% of phone respondents said that it has been more than a year since they drove without a seat belt.
- One question was very revealing – 96% of phone respondents stated that they wanted to be wearing their seat belts if they were ever involved in a crash.
- An enforcement exercise was conducted over a two-week period.
- 143 check points were conducted.
- 190 child restraint citations were given.
- 4,061 seat belt citations were given.
- 23,787 total citations, arrests, and warnings were issued.
In summary the 2015 Click It or Ticket program was very effective, although there is still room for improvement. The Click It or Ticket campaign has been conducted in Alabama annually since 2001.