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Click it or Ticket aims to reduce serious injury from car accidents as Florida’s new mandatory seatbelt law begins this summer

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Southwest Florida motorists will see increased seat belt enforcement as the Florida Highway Patrol conducts special Click-It or Ticket patrols in advance of the state’s new mandatory seat belt law, which begins July 1.

Florida injury lawyers remind motorists seat belt use is one aspect of a comprehensive safe-driving program that also includes avoiding distracted driving, speeding, aggressive driving and other unsafe practices that lead to serious injury or death in Florida car accidents.

The Florida Highway Patrol estimates 15,147 lives were saved in 2007 because of seat belt use and another 5,024 could have been saved. Local troopers will be dispatching extra patrols to areas with high rates of speeding, complaints, crashes and fatalities, according to a report from NBC-2.

Beginning July 1, failure to wear a seat belt will be a primary offense for which you can be stopped and ticketed. Florida’s current seat belt law allows for adults to be ticketed only if they are stopped for another offense.

Both laws allow law enforcement to stop and ticket minors who are driving or riding as an unbelted passenger.

On Thursday, May 28, the Florida Department of Transportation, local law enforcement and the Fort Myers Miracle baseball team are teaming up to encourage motorists to wear their seat belt as part of the state’s annual campaign to reduce traffic fatalities.

Fans at Hammond Stadium will receive promotional items and receive other information about the importance of driver education and safety.

According to Click-It or Ticket, the 1 in 5 Floridians who did not buckle up in 2007, accounted for 3 in every 5 traffic fatalities. The state’s seat belt use has risen 26 percent to 81.7 percent since the campaign began in 2001 — just shy of the national average of 82 percent.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a car accident, there are certain things you can do to help protect your rights. Our Florida injury lawyers offer free appointments to discuss your rights at offices located throughout Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte, Arcadia, Sebring and Venice.