About one in five of all motorists in Wisconsin don’t buckle up, and cops are cracking down.
Approximately 400 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are taking part in this effort to aggressively enforce the seatbelt law, according to Major Dan Lonsdorf with the Bureau of Transportation Safety. “We want everybody to put their belts on — every trip, every time.”
Lonsdorf stresses, buckling up is the easiest thing anyone can do that could mean the difference between life and death. He says safety belts are the best protection against being ejected from a vehicle or violently thrown around within the vehicle during a crash. “No one out there ever who has died in a car crash knew ahead of time that today was that day, and if they had, they would have put their seatbelt on.”
In Wisconsin last year, there were 120,000 convictions for not wearing a seatbelt. Lonsdorf says that number has gone up in recent years due to primary enforcement. The good news is more people are buckling up — just short of 80 percent.
Still, Lonsdorf says, many people ignore the law because they don’t fear the consequences — potential death, injury, and even a citation is not incentive enough to buckle-up. “That’s unfortunately one of our problems in Wisconsin. The fine is a mere $10.00; there are no demerit points; there are no court costs associated with it; so some people, and they know that, they simply ignore the law.”
Lonsdorf says their emphasis is on safety. The national Click It or Ticket safety belt campaign runs from May 23 through June 5.