Police across the state are kicking off holiday efforts to help keep drivers safe.
Over 200 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are taking part in the annual Booze and Belts campaign, which is aimed at encouraging drivers to stay sober and buckle up. The state Bureau of Transportation Safety’s George Silverwood says both continue to be a major issue in the state and are factors in many traffic crashes each year.
In 2008, nearly 40-percent of traffic fatalities in the state were alcohol-related. Nearly 55-percent of those killed in traffic accidents weren’t wearing a seat belt.
Silverwood says Christmas and New Years are still a few weeks off, but many holiday parties have already started. He says many drivers think about how to get home after parties on the holidays, but not always about the office cocktail hour where they may just “have one” on an empty stomach.
Tickets for seat belt violations have increased, thanks to the state’s primary enforcement law. However, Silverwood says many drivers still aren’t buckling up. Silverwood says everyone riding in a vehicle should be wearing a safety belt, even if they’re riding in the back seat.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:10)