Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. The 2012 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicks off May 21 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.

Thanks to a grant awarded by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, Maine State Police troopers are joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.

“Too many drivers and passengers on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy,” said Maine State Police Lt. Brian Scott “Our goal is to save more lives, so all eight field troops of the Maine State Police will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.”