RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With Memorial Day Weekend finally here, Virginia DMV and local law enforcement are teaming up to participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign.

The campaign is held annually in an effort to save lives during one of the busiest and deadliest travel weekends of the year.

Virginia’s seat belt use rate is 81.7%, according to the most recent statewide seat belt survey conducted in 2021. This is low compared to the national average of 89.7%.

There were 5,583 crashes involving unrestrained people in Virginia last year; 3,854 of those were injuries and 334 were deaths.

“These facts gravely highlight the need for increased awareness of seat belt use,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “DMV and our safety partners continue to publicize messages about the importance of seat belt use throughout the year, but especially during our annual Click It or Ticket campaign.”

The DMV partnered with the Chesterfield County Police Department, the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and AAA Mid-Atlantic to kick off the Click It or Ticket campaign on Thursday, May 26.

“Buckling up is among the most important things you can do to protect yourself and others in a vehicle,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean. “Modern cars are loaded with safety features that weren’t available just a few years ago. Those systems work in conjunction with a seat belt. That’s why it’s so important to buckle up, everyone, every time.”

The campaign ends on Sunday, June 5. For more information, visit the DMV’s website, here.