Police agencies stepping up seatbelt enforcement
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Pleasant Prairie Police Department have announced they will increase safety belt enforcement patrols during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization through June 6. More than 300 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are expected to participate in this year’s Click It or Ticket, which is the nation’s largest safety belt enforcement and education campaign.
Said Pleasant Prairie police Chief Brian Wagner:
“Our intensified safety belt enforcement during this period and throughout the year will help save lives and reduce serious injuries from traffic crashes. Any preventable traffic death or injury is one too many. … Our goal is not to write more tickets but to increase voluntary compliance with Wisconsin’s mandatory safety belt law. That’s why we want all drivers and passengers to buckle up voluntarily. But if they don’t wear a safety belt, we’re prepared to stop their vehicle and give them a ticket. Like the slogan says – ‘Click It or Ticket.’ And that means every trip, every time.”
Said Sheriff David Beth:
“All too often, deputies respond to crash scenes where people are needlessly killed or seriously injured because they were not buckled up. That’s why The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is serious about safety belt enforcement .We are reminding motorists that a change in state law last year allows our officers to stop and ticket unbuckled drivers and passengers even if we do not see another violation. We hope that enforcement efforts during “Click It or Ticket” and throughout the year will motivate people to buckle up so that we can reduce the number of traffic deaths in Wisconsin. We’re not striving to write more tickets. We simply want to get everyone to buckle up every time they drive or ride in a vehicle. But if people continue to ignore the mandatory safety belt law, and common sense, they will get a ticket.”
Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are cracking down on unbelted drivers and passengers, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Last year, convictions for failure to fasten safety belts exceeded 100,000 for the first time in state history. Safety belt violations were approximately 12 percent of all traffic convictions in 2009.
The increased safety belt enforcement effort in May is part of a $20,000 grant that the Village of Pleasant Prairie received from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety.