MEBANE, N.C. — This Thanksgiving, be thankful for your seatbelt and use it!
The Governor's Highway Safety Program just kicked off this year's holiday "Click It or Ticket" campaign in Mebane. The statewide campaign is meant to raise awareness of the danger of not wearing a seatbelt.
Governor Roy Cooper and other officials in attendance urged travelers to wear their seatbelts while on the road this Thanksgiving holiday. According to Gov. Cooper, 1,445 people died on NC roadways in 2018.
During the campaign, which started Monday, November 5 will run through Sunday, December 1. Drivers can expect to see more officers and increase check points.
Officials said last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, 20 people died on North Carolina highways - 60-percent weren't wearing their seatbelts.
If you're caught not wearing a seatbelt in North Carolina, you could face a fine of $179 or $263 if a passenger under age 15 isn't properly restrained. Of course, this doesn't count the potential cost of a life.
Fast Facts provided by NC DOT:
- North Carolina’s current seat belt rate is 88.4 % down 2.9 percent from 2018.
- Unbelted occupants are nearly two times as likely to die in a collision than those wearing their seat belts.
- Unbelted backseat riders become human torpedoes in a collision and a threat to the safety of front seat occupants, even if they are using their seat belts.
- When crashes happen 52 percent of unbelted backseat riders are killed.
- Law enforcement is a key part of preventing roadway deaths.
Here's a look at the numbers County by County for 2017 and 2018