The national campaign is not just busy work with a catchy name; officials want everyone to know that wearing a seatbelt could potentially save lives.
State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Bureau of Transportation Safety, says the state already has recorded more traffic deaths this year compared with the same time last year. “People are making mistakes or taking risks and then in some cases it’s them getting killed or in other cases they’re killing an innocent third party.” She says many of those deaths could have been prevented by fastening their safety belt. “It takes less than a second to click that seatbelt and keep them safe.”
Huxtable says parents can help encourage good habits in youngsters by their own responsible actions.
During this intensified safety belt enforcement, Huxtable reminds motorists that the seatbelt law in Wisconsin is a primary enforcement law. Officers will pull over unbelted motorists and issue citations; there’s no need to stop motorists for a separate traffic violation. “In a quick glance we can determine that they are in a violation of the traffic law and we can stop them and take the appropriate enforcement action.”
Safety belt use is the most effective way to prevent ejection during a crash or thrown around violently inside the vehicle. Last year, there were nearly 85,000 safety belt convictions in the Badger State. The cost for violators is $10, with no demerit points or penalty assessment.
The annual Click it or ticket campaign begins Monday and continues through June 3. Nearly 400 law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will have more officers patrolling for longer hours — day and night — to crackdown on unbuckled drivers and passengers.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:42