WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Despite a decade of gains in daytime seat belt use, research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that nighttime belt use continues to be much lower, particularly among young drivers.  

The annual Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, launched May 19 by NHTSA Administrator Nicole R. Nason, will focus on nighttime belt use when the odds of being killed in a motor vehicle crash are three times greater. The campaign runs through June 1.

"Seat belt use among young drivers and occupants is not what it should be, especially at night when the risk of dying in a crash triples," Nason said. "Clearly, we need to do more to make people of all ages understand that — whether traveling by car, SUV or truck — a seat belt is the best way to stay alive, day or night."

Nighttime seat belt use is often much lower than the nationwide average of 82 percent daytime belt use, according to NHTSA research. The consequences of not buckling up are even more tragic among young passenger vehicle occupants.  Of the 2,926 16- to 20-year-old passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2006, 68 percent were unrestrained. During the daytime 57 percent of the 16- to 20-year-old occupants killed were not wearing seat belts.

Across the country, law enforcement will issue tickets to seat belt law violators. The campaign is supported by a $7.5 million national and state advertising campaign. Ads produced by NHTSA in English and Spanish will run across a wide range of highly targeted media, including print, radio, and television.