BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It means the difference between life and death. This holiday season, police are making sure drivers– those at night–are buckled up.

Christie Ileto has more on this important reminder.

Before you turn the ignition, police want you to make sure you’re buckled up first!

“Everyone should buckle up. They should be cracking down,” said Patricia Nice.

“If we find you without a safety belt on, you will be ticketed,” said Anne Arundel Police Lt. David Ennis.

The status of a 30-foot crash dummy is the strong message police and local officials are sending drivers hitting the roads this week for the holiday season, telling them to buckle up.

It’s part of the MVA’s campaign to drive down highway deaths to zero.

“People who believe the officers aren’t there decide to take more risks,” Ennis said.

The Motor Vehicle Administration says in 2001, Maryland had fewer than 500 deaths from traffic crashes. It’s the lowest number of fatalities on record, but still police say it’s too many.

“If we prevent one crash, that means one less serious injury or death,” said John Kuo, MVA.

Seat belts are the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself in a vehicle accident. In fact, the MVA says a seat belt reduces the risk of death or critical injuries by almost 50 percent.

“If I had my seat belt on years ago, maybe I wouldn’t have had some of the injuries. I had some injuries to my face,” said driver Sharon Scarlett.

Scarlett says she hopes no other Maryland driver will have to experience a brush with death this holiday.

In the meantime, the statue serves as a reminder that seat belts save lives. The MVA says if seat belts were used by everyone on Maryland roads, it could save close to 100 lives a year.


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