Buckle-Up Campaign
Seat belts and child safety seats help
to prevent injuries in five different ways:
  • Preventing ejection
  • Shifting crash forces to the strongest parts of the body's structure.
  • Spreading forces over a wide area of the body.
  • Allowing the body to slow down gradually.
  • Protecting the head and spinal cord.
The Port Orange Police Department actively participates in the Buckle-Up America campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The excerpt below was taken from the publication Standard Enforcement Saves Lives: The Case for Strong Seat Belt Laws issued by NHTSA.

It's a fact: On America's roads, someone is killed every 13 minutes and someone is injured every nine seconds in traffic crashes. It takes only a few seconds to fasten a seat belt. Yet this simple action, repeated every time you get into a motor vehicle, may be the most significant driving-related behavior change you can make to extend your life. The "buckle up" habit dramatically increases your chance of surviving a crash. It's your best weapon against a drunk, tired or aggressive driver.

Despite recent advances-safer highway design, new auto safety devices, reductions in impaired driving and improves seat belt use rates-traffic crashes are still the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, only diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke kill more people than do motor vehicles. Each year, approximately 42,000 Americans die in traffic crashes and another three million are injured. Sadly, many of these deaths and injuries could have bee prevented if the victims had been wearing seat belts or were properly restrained in child safety seats.

Over the past decade, highway fatalities and injuries have declined. One vital reason for this decline is that more motorists are wearing their seat belts. Research has found that lap/shoulder belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent (for occupants of light trucks, 60 percent and 65 percent, respectively).

Most of those who die in motor vehicle crashes are vehicle occupants (less than a quarter are motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians). Seat belts, air bags and child safety seats all have been designed to protect drivers and passengers from injury during a crash. We know they save lives when used correctly, but the seat belt use rate in America is only 69 percent.

Florida Safety Belt Law
F.S. 316.613 - Child restraint requirements: Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined herein, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restrain device. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child seat. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a seat belt may be used.

F.S. 316.614 - Safety belt usage: It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle in this state unless each passenger of the vehicle under the age of 18 years is restrained by a safety belt or by a child restraint device pursuant to s. 316.613, if applicable, or to operate a motor vehicle in this state unless the person is restrained by a safety belt. It is unlawful for any person 18 years of age or older to be a passenger in the front seat of a motor vehicle unless such person is restrained by a safety belt when the vehicle is in motion.

Child Safety Seat Inspections
A recent study found that at least 90% of child restraint devices were not installed properly, potentially increasing the risk of injury in a crash. If you wish to have your seat inspected, there are several resources available to you. You may visit any of the four (4) Fire Department's in the city, or stop by the Port Orange Police Department. For best results, please call ahead if visiting the Police Department and arrange to meet an officer from our traffic division. An appointment is not required, however the inspection will be subject to officer availability. You may also visit the NHTSA website to search for inspections being conducted by the agency in your area.

If you are a low income family who needs a child safety seat, but cannot afford one, please contact the Public Information Officer for the Port Orange Fire & Rescue Department at 386-506-5906. The Fire Department can provide a seat to qualifying families free of charge.

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