The Apex Police Department is working to send a message to motorists: seatbelts save lives.
Apex police issued 61 traffic citations to drivers and passengers who weren’t wearing their seatbelts during a nighttime seatbelt check Thursday at the intersection of West Williams Street and Colony Woods Drive.
The checkpoint, organized with help from Cary and Morrisville police and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, was designed to encourage town residents to wear their seatbelts.
The number of passengers killed in vehicle crashes is three times higher at night than during the day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seatbelt use among passengers killed in passenger vehicle accidents declines as it gets later in the evening, reaching the lowest levels between midnight and 4 a.m., according to the agency.
Nationally, 61 percent of those killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2010 during the overnight hours were not wearing seatbelts, compared to 42 percent during daylight hours.
As part of the seatbelt enforcement checks, police also inspected whether children were safely strapped in child seats and wearing lap belts, when necessary.