FARGO, N.D. - – The number one contributing factor of motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota is not wearing a seat belt. To help combat that, fifty-two law enforcement agencies statewide will add extra patrols to participate in a nationwide Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign, May 22 through June 4, to save lives.
In 2016, 58 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota were not wearing their seat belt.
“Seat belt use is the number one thing North Dakotans can do to protect themselves in a motor vehicle, and that’s what we hope to get across during the Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign,” said Sgt. James Kringlie, traffic safety unit sergeant for the Fargo Police Department. “As the weather heats up, we want to heat up our attention on this important safety measure. Everyone in a motor vehicle should be wearing a seat belt, no matter what.”
The North Dakota Highway Patrol, along with the Cass, Ransom, Sargent and Traill County Sheriff’s Departments; and Fargo, NDSU, Wahpeton and West Fargo Police Departments will be participating in this increased enforcement during these two weeks.
In addition to extra patrols during this time period, the NDDOT announced a new virtual reality tool to demonstrate the importance of buckling up.
“Every year, the NDDOT and law enforcement work hard to educate drivers and passengers about the importance of wearing a seat belt,” said Ashlee Doan, NDDOT Safety Public Information Specialist. “Through virtual reality (VR), the NDDOT is helping people ‘experience’ a crash where a vehicle occupant suffers consequences from not wearing a seat belt. Our ultimate goal is to have all North Dakotans wearing a seat belt every trip, every time.”
The VR video depicts four individuals in a vehicle that crashes. The viewer is in the front passenger position and gets an up-close and personal view to the aftermath of the crash which shows an unbelted passenger partially ejected from the vehicle, and other passengers receiving medical assistance.
This new educational tool was demonstrated by the NDDOT and law enforcement today in Bismarck and Fargo and will be available for the public to use at no cost. The target audience for this effort is schools, employers and associations, and the VR goggles with its accompanying 360-degree video will be provided to those who wish to use it for educating others about seat belt safety. It can be reserved by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (701) 328-2598.
The NDDOT administers federal grant funding for extra seat belt enforcement as part of an overall effort to prevent deaths and injuries on North Dakota roads.
Learn more about traffic safety initiatives at dot.nd.gov, ndcodefortheroad.org or join the conversation on the Code for the Road Facebook or Twitter page.
Families are invited to create memorials for those who have died in crashes in North Dakota at ndcodefortheroad.org/memorial.