State officials stress the importance of seat-belt use, saying it saves lives, plus it’s the law. David Pabst is with the Bureau of Transportation Safety at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. He said, “We have officers out throughout the state … all agencies working to write seat-belt tickets and get people to comply voluntarily,” Pabst said, “because if you wear your seat-belt, you’re going to survive much better.”
All occupants need to be buckled-up. Anyone caught not wearing a seat belt will be issued a $10 fine. Concievably, Pabst said, a driver can get several tickets in a single stop. “The driver can get the $10 ticket, so can the passengers.” He said, “Everyone has to be restrained somehow, and if it’s an under-aged child, the driver can be cited for a little higher fine.”
At about 85 percent, more Wisconsinites than ever are buckling up, but compliance lags behind neighboring states. “We don’t want to write tickets,” Pabst said. “I’d rather have 100 percent compliance.”
When considering fatalities last year, more than half of those killed on Wisconsin roads were not wearing their seat-belts.
Wisconsin has a primary enforcement seat-belt law, which means drivers can be stopped just for not wearing a seat-belt. Previously, a motorists could only be cited if he was stopped for another traffic violation. The relatively new law took effect in 2009.
Pabst said one of the most important thing anyone can do is to always wear a seat-belt. “Wear it every time.”
The Click It or Ticket campaign starts on the 18th and continues through May 31st.
The penalty for violating the child passenger law involving a child under the age of 4 is not less than $30 or more than $75. The penalty for violating the child passenger law involving a child between the ages of 4-8 is not less than $10 or more than $25.
Motorists who are hurt or killed in traffic crashes because they didn’t buckle up create tremendous economic losses, such as medical expenses, according to the Wisconsin DOT. The rest of society pays for nearly 75 percent of these economic losses through higher insurance premiums, taxes, and other public funding, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Economic losses from traffic fatalities and injuries in Wisconsin totaled nearly $1.7 billion in 2013.