BUCKLE UP OR PAY UP

The clock is ticking.

The results of Lewis Communications’ two-week “Click it or ticket” seat-belt campaign will be apparent this week.

The Birmingham, Ala., agency’s television and radio push can save 44 lives, hundreds of injuries and $48 million in medical, insurance and other costs by driving seat-belt usage in the state from 79 percent to its target goal—84 percent.

“It’s in everybody’s best interest that we’re effective,” said Lewis account supervisor Carlton Wood, who is spearheading the initiative for the Ala-bama Department of Economic & Community Affairs. “Not only because of the human toll, but, from the federal and state government standpoint, it’s a tremendous waste of money to die in an auto wreck.”

The spots, Wood said, do not focus on gory wreckage, but “how really stupid you’ll feel when the trooper walks away and you’re holding a ticket for not wearing a seat belt.”

Last year’s effort increased the numberof drivers wearing seat belts by nearly 10 percent and saved, research indicated, some 160 lives.