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May 14, 2003

State Board of Education Supports Safety Belt Use; Tells Teens of Law Enforcement Safety Belt Enforcement Crackdown

The Illinois State Board of Education is strongly encouraging safety belt use and informing students of Illinois’ law enforcement intention to crackdown on safety belt violators.

Studies show that the deadliest driving time for teens is during the after school hours when teens are car-pooling home or to after school activities. Almost 20 per cent of high schools students report they never or rarely wear safety belts when riding with someone else.

Combine this low safety belt use with research that shows teenagers are more likely than older drivers to speed, run red lights and make illegal turns and it’s not surprising that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20-year-olds.

“Our children and young people are our most precious national resource. Unfortunately, many students are dying needlessly in car crashes because they don’t to wear their safety belts,” said Robert E. Schiller, State Superintendent of Education. “In fact, data show that more than half of all teens who die in crashes are completely unbelted and that fatality rates for teens are twice that of older drivers, ” he said.

In 2001, 3,608 teens, ages 15-20 died and thousands more were injured in traffic crashes nationwide.

For many non-safety belt users, especially young people, the threat of a ticket has proven to be a greater inducement to buckle up than the threat of injury or death.

“We don’t want to see our students get a ticket. We are hoping they choose to take the smart and potentially lifesaving step and buckle their safety belt,” Schiller said.

Additionally, the Illinois State Board of Education, in conjunction with the Click It or Ticket campaign, is distributing educational packets to high schools throughout the state with safety belt public address announcements and other safety belt and safe driving information.

This action by the Illinois State Board of Education coincides with the Click It or Ticket May mobilization. During the Click It or Ticket May mobilization, more than 780 local, county, and state law enforcement agencies will be implementing an aggressive zero tolerance approach to safety belt violators with a high profile public education effort.

The Click It or Ticket Mobilization begins May 19th and runs through June 1st.

PDF File Download or View an Adobe Acrobat PDF document with the "Morning announcements to be read in schools".

PDF File Download or View an Adobe Acrobat PDF document with the "Letter for superintendents to send to their principals".

May 14, 2003

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777