Pennsylvania Launches ‘Click It or Ticket’ Initiative: Saving Lives One Buckle at a Time

Click It or TicketImage via PennDOT

PHILADELPHIA, PA — A rallying cry echoed through Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia this Monday, marking the launch of the annual “Click It or Ticket” initiative, a campaign endorsing the nationwide use of seatbelts. Organized with the cooperation of various law enforcement agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Philadelphia Police Department, and AAA Mid-Atlantic, the event aimed to remind the public of the life-saving qualities of a simple click.

Michael J. Rizol, Jr., Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, stated unequivocally, “A seat belt can save your life, but only if you use it.” He went on to emphasize the illegality of driving without fastening this life-saving device.

The campaign, running until June 2, has garnered support from state and national institutions alike, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Through stringent enforcement and public awareness drives, Pennsylvania’s state police and municipal departments are delivering a stark message: neglecting the seatbelt is not only dangerous—it’s against the law.

Lending his voice to this chorus of safety advocates, DSP Assistant Director of Public Information Master Corporal Lewis Briggs announced their partnership in the nationwide drive. After experiencing 17 fatal accidents involving unbuckled passengers in Delaware last year, Briggs underlined the importance of seatbelt usage in reducing such preventable losses.

The campaign’s front-lines extended to the state borders, as police departments signaled their collaboration through the “Border-to-Border” initiative. Together, law enforcement aims to ensure all commuters buckle up, irrespective of their state of travel.

Amidst the serious reminders, the event also had a lighter note—the Phillie Phanatic himself was presented with a seatbelt to promote this critical cause.

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In Pennsylvania, drivers and passengers aged 18 or above are legally obligated to wear seatbelts. Din Abazi, PennDOT Executive Director, stated that the goal was to transform seatbelt use into a “non-negotiable habit”. Pennsylvania further enforces this mandate with the ‘Primary Seat Belt Law’ for those under 18, insisting on adherence to seatbelt practice regardless of vehicle location.

Pennsylvania’s commitment to safety extends to its youngest commuters as well, with the ‘Primary Child Passenger Safety Law’. It mandates the use of approved child safety seats for children under four, with specific guidelines for children under two and those up to the age of eight.

Yet, despite a reported national seatbelt usage rate of 91.9% in 2023, law enforcement believes there’s still room for improvement. As PSP Trooper Jessica Tobin put it, “Wearing your seat belt is your best line of defense against injury. Set an example for others. Fasten your seat belt, someone needs you.”

With the haunting memory of 80 fatalities in 3,736 accidents involving unbuckled passengers in Philadelphia last year alone, the campaign’s message is clear: buckle up for life—it’s not just the law, it’s a lifesaver.

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