EAST BRIDGEWATER — Chief Paul O’Brien and the East Bridgewater Police Department are pleased to report that the department has been awarded a grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research (OGR) to increase the number of patrols and to remind drivers and passengers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt.
East Bridgewater police will join other departments across the state and the Massachusetts State Police in the national Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign.
“Seat belts are the single most important safety item in our vehicles, and we urge anyone in a vehicle, including both drivers and passengers, to always buckle up,” Chief O’Brien said. “Police officers everywhere see firsthand the devastating consequences of not using a seat belt, and we are thankful for this funding to increase our traffic enforcement presence in town to help end these preventable tragedies.”
- Massachusetts’ seat belt use rate is consistently lower than the national average, ranking 45th in the 2019 seat belt observational study. At 81.6% use, over 1.2 million Bay Staters still are not regularly buckling up. The national seat belt use rate is 90.7% (2019).
- In Massachusetts, a larger percentage of pickup truck (71%) and SUV (65%) fatalities are unrestrained compared to passenger cars (60%).
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts saved an estimated 61 lives in Massachusetts in 2018.
- 68% of nighttime fatalities are unrestrained in Massachusetts compared to 55% of unrestrained daytime fatalities.
“Seat belts are the best way to protect yourself from dangerous drivers,” said Kevin Stanton, Executive Director of the OGR. “You might be an excellent driver, but not everyone else is. Seat belts are your best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.”
For more information on the OGR’s Municipal Road Safety and distracted driving enforcement grant program, visit www.mass.gov/service-details/traffic-safety-grants.