Remember to buckle up when driving: Memorial Day Click it or Ticket campaign kicks off Monday

The campaign will last through June 2

ROANOKE, Va. – Wear your seat belt is the message police, AAA, and Virginia DMV are reminding people with its national Click It or Ticket campaign that kicks off Monday.

Law enforcement said they are ramping up enforcement along major interstates, like I-81.

They said the campaign will be going on until June 2.

Police said in Virginia, not wearing your seat belt is a secondary offense, which means you must be pulled over for something else for them to issue you a citation for not being buckled up. However, they said wearing your seat belt can help you if you’re in a crash.

“It can happen on any road. If you’re not wearing your seat belt and wreck on a two-lane country road, the chances of being ejected and having a possible fatality are just as high as if you’re on Interstate 81 or 95 on the east side of the state,” said Senior Trooper Brett Southern with the Virginia State Police.

In 2022, there were more than 5,000 crashes where people were not wearing their seat belts, according to the Virginia DMV’s latest data. Almost 400 people died that same year.

They also said it’s important during Memorial Day weekend, which can be one of the deadliest times on the roadways.

“You have the first weekend really that summer vacation happens, so you have a lot more people on the roadways than you’ve had for the last few months coming out of the wintertime and seat belt usage is a big part of that for a lot of our fatalities. We find that people don’t wear seat belts is a contributing factor to that,” said Southern.

Virginia State Police issued almost 800 seatbelt violations and almost 140 child safety seat violations during the Memorial Day weekend last year.

While it’s important to be buckled up, police also want you to keep in mind the following when behind the wheel during Memorial Day weekend.

“Biggest thing is [to] drive defensively, keep your eyes on the road, try to put down distractive things like cell phones. Your passengers try not to focus on them. Give yourself plenty of stopping distance, especially with as much road construction throughout the state as we have,” said Southern.

About the Author

Keshia Lynn is a Multimedia Journalist for WSLS. She was born and raised in Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society from American University and a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

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