On May 26, 2022, the Bergen Record of New Jersey published a letter to the editor penned by student members of Indian Hills High School’s “Click Clack Front and Back” club. The letter highlights the serious issue of traffic safety and urges New Jersey lawmakers to upgrade the state’s seat belt law to primary enforcement for all vehicle occupants. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) applauds the students for their advocacy and appreciates our ongoing collaboration in support of this proven countermeasure to increase seat belt use and save lives. To the students graduating this year, congratulations!
As originally published in the Bergen Record:
“We are members of Indian Hills High School’s ‘Click Clack Front and Back’ club, promoting seat belt safety in our community.
Last year, we initiated a conversation about enhancing the New Jersey seat belt law to reflect the importance of seat belt usage in the entire vehicle. In 2020, New York state added a rear seat belt requirement, among other improvements, to its seat belt law. As new drivers, we know that every occupant should wear a seat belt, but not everyone does. In several states, seat belt use rates increased 10% and 15% when primary enforcement was implemented.
Secondary enforcement laws, like the current New Jersey rear seat belt law, require police to first observe another violation, like speeding, before they can enforce a lack of seat belt use. Primary enforcement would help deter those who might not buckle up and would protect everyone in the car – unbelted occupants can become deadly projectiles in crashes.
We recognize that teenagers are more inclined to engage in safe behavior when legal aspects are involved. On May 17, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the following update: 42,915 people died in crashes last year, a 10.5% increase from 2020. It’s time to upgrade our seat belt law and save lives.”
Sent on behalf of 27 student members of the Click Clack Front and Back club of Indian Hills HighSchool in Oakland.