Around the Valley: Click It or Ticket, Quahog week

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Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association announces 2021 Click It or Ticket Campaign

The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association announces that departments across the state will be taking part in the National Click It or Ticket High Visibility Enforcement Campaign later this month

As part of the campaign, which will run from May 24 to June 6, state and local law enforcement agencies across the state and the nation will be stepping up their enforcement efforts for motorists who aren’t wearing their seat belts.

For this year’s Click It or Ticket seat belt mobilization effort, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking all states to participate in the Border to Border initiative on May 24, a one-day, four-hour national seat belt awareness kickoff event coordinated by participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons.

B2B aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement and encouraging drivers and passengers to buckle up at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints.

Police agencies in Rhode Island have set a goal of 90 percent seat belt compliance or higher across the state in fiscal year 2021. The rate in 2019 was 88.6 percent.

“Wearing a seatbelt is one of the simplest steps a driver or passenger can take in order to prevent serious injury or death while in a vehicle, and it’s also one of the most effective,” RIPCA Executive Director Sidney Wordell said. “Through the efforts of agencies such as the NHTSA, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, AAA Northeast and police departments throughout the state of Rhode Island, we hope this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign further raises awareness of just how life-saving wearing a seatbelt can be.”

The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association shared the following seat belt facts and misconceptions, courtesy the NHTSA:

  • Among young adults age 18 to 34 killed while riding in passenger vehicles in 2019, more than half (57 percent) were completely unrestrained — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
  • Men make up the majority of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2019, 65 percent of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed were men.
  • Men also wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women do — 51 percent of men killed in crashes were unrestrained, compared to 40 percent of women killed in crashes.
  • Vehicle type: 58 percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed in 2019 were not buckled. That’s compared to 43 percent of passenger car occupants who were not wearing seat belts when they were killed. Regardless of vehicle type, seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash.
  • Seating position: Forty-five percent of all front-seat passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2019 were unrestrained, but 58 percent of those killed in back seats were unrestrained.
  • Rural versus urban locations: People who live in rural areas might believe their crash exposure is lower, but in 2019, there were 11,971 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural locations, compared to 10,187 fatalities in urban locations. Out of those fatalities, 48 percent of those killed in the rural locations were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 45 percent in urban locations.
  • High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2019, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts.
  •  In 2019, there were 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States.

Learn more about the Click It or Ticket effort at https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/click-it-or-ticket

RI kicks off 5th annual Quahog Week May 17

The Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative, chaired by Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, has announced that the 5th annual Quahog Week returns this year from May 17 to May 23. The week-long celebration shines a light on Rhode Island’s favorite local clam, the hard-working men and women who harvest them, and the vibrant local food industry that makes them available to consumers.

Quahogging is a year-round activity in Rhode Island, so the product is available, freshly harvested, throughout the year. Demand tends to peak during the summer months, when stuffies and clam cakes serve as main attractions for shore-goers and tourists. Targeting the spring shoulder season for Quahog Week helps to increase consumer awareness, demand, sales and market opportunities for quahogs during a time of year when the fresh product is readily available, but often overlooked.

Quahogs are the most economically important fishery resource harvested from Narragansett Bay. Typically, more than 20 million quahogs with an off-the-boat value exceeding $5 million are harvested from the bay on an average annual basis. Last year, landings dipped by about 35 percent, due to the pandemic. Landings are expected to bounce back this year, aided by the opening of 1,908 acres of new shell fishing waters in the lower Providence River. Among all of RI’s inshore and offshore marine fisheries, quahogs are the state’s 5th most valuable, following squid, scallops, lobster, and summer flounder.

Although effort dipped a bit in 2020, over 500 licensed commercial fishermen and women are engaged in the RI quahog fishery, with about half engaged year-round. More young people are entering the fishery, thanks in part to the availability of student shellfish licenses, which support good summer job opportunities, and to the apprenticeship program administered by the RI Shellfishermen’s Association.

The highlight of Quahog Week involves the many opportunities to access and savor fresh RI quahogs. Participating restaurants will feature quahog-inspired specials on their menus, and participating markets will offer deals for those who enjoy cooking their own clam dishes at home. With Quahog Week now in its fifth year, excitement is building, particularly as the number of participating restaurants and markets continues to grow.

Consumers should visit www.seafoodri.com for a full list of participating restaurants and markets and the specials they are offering. Additional restaurants and markets interested in participating also are encouraged to sign up at www.seafoodri.com.

2021 Autumnfest buttons on sale

The Autumnfest Steering Committee has announced that 2021 Autumnfest buttons are now available. This year, the buttons can be purchased at local businesses as well as local festivals. The list of business locations will be listed and updated on the Autumnfest website and social media pages.

Local business owners can also request the buttons to sell by contacting 2021 Button Coordinator Nancy Phillips at (401) 765-4327.

The buttons cost $1 each and this year, there will be a contest between local businesses for the title of top seller, with a plaque awarded to the winner.

“We all missed our yearly Autumnfest celebration last year due to the pandemic,” said General Chairperson Garrett Mancieri. “We are anxiously awaiting our festivities this fall to once again bring our community together. We are proud to continue this long standing tradition that so many in our region enjoy which is purchasing raffle buttons for each year for a chance to win some great cash prizes but more importantly help us keep this festival going for now 43 years at no charge to our guests.”

WNRI 1380AM has sponsored the grand prize in the button raffle of $500 cash. Additional prizes
of $250 cash sponsored by Lil General Convenience Stores and a $100 cash sponsored by The Gym LLC
will also be available.

Follow all updates on how to order buttons at autumnfest.org/buttons.

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