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Holiday weekends bring increased risk of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale and throughout the state

Starting this week the Florida Highway Patrol is delivering the message to buckle up as the 2011 national Click It or Ticket campaign gets underway. Law enforcement will be cracking down on motorists who disobey Florida’s safety belt law with zero tolerance, meaning click your seat belt or expect a ticket.

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers want to remind you to “Click It” or risk the chance of serious injury in a car accident. Drive safely this holiday weekend.

“Many traffic deaths can be prevented if more motorists simply buckle up. That is why the Florida Highway Patrol is strongly supporting enhanced enforcement of safety belt laws during the upcoming Click It or Ticket campaign,” said Major Timothy Ashley, commander of FHP’s Troop H, which covers eight counties in the Big Bend area. “We will be out in full force to remind drivers and passengers to always fasten their safety belts.”

It is the requirement of Florida law that front seat passengers wear a seat belt, as well as, anyone under 18 must be belted in. The fine for not buckling up is $30 in addition to court costs if convicted. After last years campaign seat belt use rose to 87.4 percent.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reminded motorists about the severe risks of not wearing a seat belt.

“We are reminding Americans to buckle up before they hit the road for the long Memorial Day weekend,” said Secretary LaHood. “Seat belts are a lifesaver, but too many people are failing to buckle their seat belts at night, and it’s costing lives.”

Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that fewer people buckle up at night, making driving at night particularly dangerous. The NHTSA reports for 2009, 62 percent of vehicle occupants killed at night were not wearing seat belts. By comparison, 44 percent of vehicle occupants killed during the day were unrestrained. David Strickland an NHTSA Administrator warned that holiday weekends like, Memorial Day weekend, are extremely dangerous for motorists not buckling up. The 2009 Memorial Day period saw 306 people killed on U.S. roads, 55 percent were unbelted.

“Statistics tell a powerful story about the fate of unbelted motorists in crashes. That’s why law enforcement is exceptionally vigilant at this time of year,” said Administrator Strickland.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Miami, Margate, Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, contact the Law Offices of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC to be advised of your rights. Call today to make an appointment for a free consultation at 1-800-561-7777.

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