It has been well-documented that safety belts help reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Drivers and passengers increase their risk of injury or death by up to 50% when not wearing safety belts. In 2012, Massachusetts recorded 349 fatalities and 4,384 incapacitating injuries related to motor vehicle crashes on the roadway of the Commonwealth. This was a marked decrease from the 374 fatalities and 4,853 incapacitating injuries reported in 2011.
Through federal highway safety grant funding, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division has been successfully implementing the annual "Click It or Ticket" initiative since 2002. Over the past 12 years, Click It or Ticket initiatives have helped increase safety belt usage in Massachusetts from 51% in 2002 to 77% in 2014. During the same period, fatalities involving non-restrained (belted) vehicle occupants dropped significantly from 57% of crash fatalities to 28%.
Massachusetts law requires all occupants to be properly restrained by safety belts when riding in a private passenger motor vehicle, including vans and trucks.
Click It or Ticket is made possible in Massachusetts through federal highway safety grant funding used by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security - Highway Safety Division (EOPSS-HSD).
The Massachusetts Click It or Ticket initiative was started in the fall of 2002. It is based on a successful national model developed by NHTSA that involves two to three week "mobilization" periods of high-visibility traffic enforcement, paid and earned media, and community education.
- EOPSS-HSD grants to state and local police for extra traffic enforcement, with special emphasis on the lack of safety belt and child safety seat use;
- EOPSS-HSD-funded paid and earned media