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"Click It or Ticket" Campaign Takes to the Roads February 9 - 19
Carla Levinski
ODOT Occupant Protection Program Manager
(503) 986-4199
Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
(503) 986-3438
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

The following is an Oregon Department of Transportation news release
Public education about the value of wearing safety belts and keeping child passengers properly buckled up is having an impact in Oregon. Since voters passed the 1990 adult safety belt law in Oregon, observed belt use among the motoring public has doubled from 50 percent to 97 percent, while crash fatality and injury rates have dramatically decreased by 61 percent and 37 percent respectively. That’s one reason why more than 100 law enforcement agencies are participating in the “Click It or Ticket” campaign Feb. 9 – 19, when they’ll be on the lookout for those who improperly use safety belts and child passenger restraint systems.
“We continue to see a statewide reduction in fatalities associated with crashes, and that’s great,” said Carla Levinski, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Occupant Protection Program manager. “But it’s a never-ending vigil, especially when talking about our vulnerable child passengers.”
In 2010 in Oregon, 49 percent of booster-age children injured in crashes were using adult belts instead of boosters. Four of the five children under age 10 that were killed had no safety restraint at all. More than a third of Oregon’s total crash fatalities in 2010 (194) were reportedly unrestrained. ODOT estimates that approximately half of these fatalities could have been avoided with proper restraint use. 
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, child safety seats reduce crash fatality risk for infants under one year old by 71 percent and for toddlers aged one to four by 54 percent. Safety belts reduce overall fatality risk in crashes by 45 - 60 percent.
“Consistent use of proper restraints is the single most effective way to protect motor vehicle occupants from crash injury or death,” Levinski said. The biggest danger, she said, is when unbelted people are ejected from the vehicle: unbelted or improperly restrained occupants are five times more likely to be ejected than one who is belted. They can also slam into other passengers and injure them during a crash or sharp swerve, and the odds of surviving ejection are estimated at one in four. (Compare this to a 1-in-200 fatality rate for occupants who remain inside the vehicle.)
To learn more about child passenger restraint systems and free clinics held year-round throughout the state, visit www.childsafetyseat.org.
Oregon law requires the following:
  • A child weighing less than 40 pounds must be restrained in a child safety seat.
  • A child under one year of age or weighing less than twenty pounds must be restrained in a child seat, rear facing.
  • A child over forty pounds or who has reached the upper weight limit of their forward-facing car seat must be restrained in a booster seat until they reach age eight or 4’ 9” in height and the adult safety belt system fits them correctly.