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Northeast Ohio Kicks Off the 2008 Click It or Ticket Campaign

Saturday, May 17, 2008 General News J E 4
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Presentation of a Saved By the Belt Award to the family of Sgt. ScottZahniser, Cleveland Metroparks Ranger. On July 19, 2007, Sgt. Zahniser wascalled to respond to a motor vehicle crash with possible injuries, only tofind the crash involved his own father and 17-month-old son. When he arrivedon the scene, he found his father's car had been struck from behind at a redlight by a pickup truck, which had pushed the vehicle's trunk into the backseat. Scott was relieved and amazed to find that his father and son escapedthe potentially fatal crash with only minor injuries-his father because he waswearing his seat belt and little Connor because he was securely buckled into aproperly installed car seat.

Presentation of public services announcements and art designed by areateens promoting seat belt use

Finalists in Rainbow's "Use It or Lose It High School Seat BeltChallenge," sponsored by Kohl's, will perform or screen their creative entriesand winners will be announced, adding a fun, high-energy vibe to the lawenforcement mobilization kickoff. Winning entries will receive airplay orscreen time throughout Greater Cleveland this summer.

Why:

Wearing seat belts is the single most effective means of reducing the riskof death or serious injury for adults and teens in motor vehicle crashes, yetCuyahoga County has one of the lowest belt use rates in the state. In Ohio,123,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes during 2006; 1,239 ofthem did not make it. That's 1,239 fathers, mothers, sons, daughters,brothers, sisters and best friends. Three of every five fatalities were notwearing seat belts. For motor vehicle occupants aged 16 to 20, 2 of every 3fatalities were unrestrained. This year's Click It or Ticket campaign kickoffwill highlight the urgent need to increase belt use in Northeast Ohio, with aspecial focus on those most at risk of motor vehicles crashes: teens andyoung adults.

From May 19 to June 2 local law enforcement officers across Northeast Ohiowill increase enforcement of safety belt laws. Local officers warn drivers tobuckle up or expect a ticket. Drivers who are stopped for a traffic violationsuch as speeding during the mobilization period will be given a secondcitation if they are not in compliance with the state's seat belt law.

The goal of this campaign is not to issue citations -- the goal is toencourage drivers and passengers to buckle up and protect themselves, boostCuyahoga County's abysmal 65 percent safety belt use rate, and reducefatalities, with a special emphasis on young adults. Motor vehicle crashesare the leading cause of death for Americans aged 1 to 44.

While teens are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes thanother drivers, they're significantly less likely to be buckled up. That's whythe Click It or Ticket kickoff will feature finalists in Rainbow Babies &Children's Hospital's Use It or Lose It seat belt challenge who have createdsongs, commercials and posters encouraging their peers to buckle up and besafe in the car. The more than 100 law enforcement officers in attendancewill vote for their favorite entries.

The Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Center, leadagency for the Greater Cleveland Safe Kids/Safe Communities Coalition, workswith communities, children, and families through education and outreach todecrease unintentional injury risk and improve wellbeing.

Kohl's, based in Menomenee Falls, Wisconsin, supports Rainbow's Use It orLose It High School Seat Belt Challenge through the Kohl's Cares for Kids(R)program, which raises funds for children's health and educationalopportunities through the sale of special gift items. Kohl's communityoutreach also includes Kohl's Kids Who Care(R), an annual youth volunteerrecognition program, as well as an associate program to encouragevolunteerism.

Liberty Mutual I
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