‘Click it or Ticket’ event kicks off


The SAFE Delaware County Coalition held an event Tuesday kicking off a national campaign to encourage seat belt usage.

The campaign runs May 13 to June 4 and includes a push by law enforcement to make sure drivers and passengers are wearing their seat belts.

SAFE Coalition Coordinator Jackie Bain led the event, which was held at the Delaware Area Career Center, and said buckling up is “not just a safe thing to do, it is the law.”

“We will be working with our law enforcement partners to make sure this message gets out to drivers and passengers alike,” Bain said. “Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life in a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life (that) so often can be prevented. … Many of us have seen the tragedy and experienced it personally.”

Lt. Robert Curry, commander of the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said state and local law enforcement will be cracking down on motorists not wearing their seat belts during the event.

“Click it or Ticket isn’t about citations, it’s about saving lives,” Curry said. “We cannot overstate the importance of wearing a seat belt. It’s the law, but it’s more than that. It’s the simplest thing you can do to limit injuries and save lives during a crash.”

Curry said that seat belt usage has dipped in Ohio from 84.1% in 2021 to 80.8% last year, adding that Ohio is well below the national average of 96%. Curry said Delaware County has a compliance rate of 96%, but he added “we can always do better.”

The guest speaker at the event was Trenton Noble, a local 16-year-old, who was involved in a head-on collision on March 13 and was “saved by the belt.” Noble said he was driving a few minutes from home with his two younger siblings when a vehicle came left of center ahead of him and collided with him. Troopers said there were no serious injuries as the result of the crash, in part because all parties were wearing seat belts.

“Seat belts saved us that day,” Noble said.

Noble and his siblings were congratulated by the patrol and were given awards commemorating their seat belt usage.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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