North Dakota law enforcement agencies will ramp up efforts to stop aggressive driving on state roads this summer, starting with a “Click It Or Ticket” campaign running May 23 to June 5.

Data from the North Dakota Department of Transportation Highway Safety Division shows more people die in motor vehicle crashes during warm weather months (May-October) than cold weather months.

Crash data also shows a direct correlation between seat belt use and injury severity. Unbelted vehicle occupants in North Dakota crashes account for the largest percent of fatalities and serious injuries, while belted occupants most commonly receive non-serious or no injuries.

Department of Transportation numbers show 43 of the 81 fatalities in 2021 where seat belts applied were not wearing their seat belt, an increase of 4.8% from 2020.

“Your seat belt is one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. It’s there to keep you inside the vehicle if you were to crash. Use it every time you travel,” said Grant County Sheriff John Foss.

The “Click It Or Ticket” enforcement campaign is one of several efforts under the highway department’s overall theme of “Summer H.E.A.T.,” or “Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic.”

Summer H.E.A.T. will run through August to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt, use appropriate child passenger safety seats, follow all posted speed limits, and drive sober and distraction-free.

Preliminary crash fatalities for 2022 are at 18 as of April 23, 2022. Of these fatalities, nearly 60% were unbelted where seat belts were present in the vehicle.