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May 21, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Detective Thomas M. Cuddy
978-794-5900 Ext 647
Lawrence MA - The Lawrence Police Department was awarded a grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Office of Grants and Research (OGR) to increase the number of patrols and to remind drivers and passengers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt. Lawrence Police will join other departments across the state and the Massachusetts Department of State Police in the national Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign.
"We are excited to receive this grant and look forward to having safer streets. As we enter the summer months and the re-opening of our city begins, we are excited to partner with the Department of Public Safety and the Lawrence Police Department to bring much needed lifesaving support to the safety of passengers and drivers,” said Mayor Kendrys Vasquez.
"Seat belts are the single most important safety item in our vehicles," said Chief Roy Vasque of the Lawrence Police Department. "We see firsthand the devastating consequences of drivers and their passengers not buckling up. These funds will increase our traffic enforcement presence to help end these preventable tragedies."
"Seat belts are the best way to protect yourself from dangerous drivers," said Kevin Stanton, Executive Director of the OGR. "You might be an excellent driver, but not everyone else is. Seat belts are your best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers."
"Seat belts save lives. It's as simple as that," said Jeff Larason, Division Director of the OGR's Highway Safety Division. "Massachusetts has one of the lowest seat belt use rates in the nation. We need to change that."
“I want to echo the remarks of Executive Director Stanton and Division Director Larason, seat belts not only save lives but protect drivers and passengers from serious injury in the even they are in a crash,” said Chief Roy Vasque. This grant is an invaluable tool that allow us the opportunity to educate the public about the importance of wearing seat belts.
Massachusetts' seat belt use rate is consistently lower than the national average, ranking 45th in the 2019 seat belt observational study.
At 81.6% use, over 1.2 million Bay Staters still are not regularly buckling up. The national seat belt use rate is 90.7% (2019)
In Massachusetts, a larger percentage of pickup trucks (71%) and SUVs (65%) fatalities are unrestrained compared to passenger cars (60%).
According to NHTSA, seat belts saved an estimated 61 lives in Massachusetts in 2018.
68% of nighttime fatalities are unrestrained in Massachusetts compared to 55% of unrestrained daytime fatalities.
*** Media Note ***
Crashes are not "accidents." We urge the media to follow the AP Stylebook, which suggests avoiding the word "accident" for distracted, negligent, drunk, or drugged crashes.
For more information on the OGR's Municipal Road Safety and distracted driving enforcement grant program, please visit www.mass.gov/service-details/traffic-safety-grants.