Date: November 25, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager

Sheriff's Office to Increase Traffic Enforcement over Thanksgiving Holiday

In an effort to increase safety belt use and prevent injuries and deaths, Polk County Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit Deputies will boost traffic enforcement during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

During the increased enforcement period, PCSO Traffic Deputies will be on the lookout for motorists who are not buckled up or do not have their children buckled.  Deputies will be issuing tickets to those who fail to buckle up.

Nearly  60% of those who die in motor vehicle crashes are unrestrained.  Research shows that if an adult driver is not buckled up, over 70% of the time the minor occupants in the vehicle are not restrained either. 

The use of seat belts is still the single most effective action by which drivers and passengers can protect themselves in motor vehicle crashes.  With the simple click of a safety belt, the chances of survival in a motor vehicle crash are doubled.

Buckle Up Facts:

  • In Florida, it is against the law to not buckle up.  Florida's safety belt law is secondary enforcement, meaning if a driver is pulled over for another violation and they are not buckled, they will get a ticket.  Currently, only 75.1% of Floridians buckle up.
  • Safety belts and child safety seats help prevent injury by:
    • Preventing ejection
    • Shifting crash forces to the strongest parts of the body's structure
    • Spreading forces over a wider area of the body
    • Allowing the body to slow down gradually
    • Protecting the head and spinal cord
  • Traffic crashes are the #1 killer of young children.  Six out of ten children who die in traffic crashes are completely unrestrained.  However, studies have shown that proper child safety seat usage can reduce fatalities by about 70%.
  • Florida's occupant protection laws say that children ages 3 and under must be in a federally approved child safety seat and 4 and 5 year olds must be in a child safety seat, booster seat or safety belt.  Children ages 6-17 must be buckled in the front or backseat and adults 18 and over must wear a safety belt when driving or riding in the front seat.


Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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