A special traffic enforcement program called “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) is conducted between April and June each year in Alabama. Multiple agencies and organizations participate 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 are 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 decreased slightly from 92.9% in 2017 to 91.8% in 2018. Overall, the CIOT campaign was a great success. Some of the other important facts and findings from the 2018 program are summarized below:
- Women wore their seat belts a greater percentage of the time than men (93.03% vs. 86.17%).
- The child restraint usage rate was estimated to be 91.8%.
- 66.6% of phone respondents had seen or heard seat belt messages that encourage seat belt use.
- Only 3.25% of phone respondents said they drove without a seat belt within the past year.
- One question was very revealing – 97.2% 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.
- 79 child restraint citations were given.
- 2,658 seat belt citations were given.
- 16,787 total citations, arrests, and warnings were issued.
In summary, the 2018 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.