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You Gotta Click It to Avoid a Ticket

Monroe police officers and State Troopers will amp up seat belt enforcement starting on Dec. 3.

Drivers who don't put on their seat belts after getting behind the wheel will have a greater chance of seeing flashing red and blue strobe lights in their rear view mirrors this December. These traffic stops occur year-round, but Monroe is joining state and local police officers in beefing up enforcement of seat belt laws during the holiday season. The Click It or Ticket campaign starts on Dec. 3.

"Those who choose not to wear a seat belt will feel the heat from our officers who will be out cracking down on Click It or Ticket violators," said Monroe Police Lt. Brian McCauley. "Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night. Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up ... no warnings and no excuses. Click It or Ticket."

While wearing a seat belt may be uncomfortable for some drivers, McCauley said making it a habit can save lives.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.

NHTSA statistics also show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide.

Yet, McCauley said too many motorists may need a tough reminder. In 2010, 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA, and 51 percent of them were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.

Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. NHTSA data shows that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, ages 18-34, who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash — the highest percentage of any age group. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.

"Too many drivers and passengers on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy," McCauley said. "Our goal is to save more lives, so the Monroe Police Department will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock."

While this year's Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from Dec. 3 to 16, McCauley said drivers should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit www.nhtsa.gov.

QWERTY November 27, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Seat belt violations are a side effect of being pulled over for other infractions. What exactly is the plan to "beef up enforcement of seat belt laws"? Are there going to be additional checkpoints in town?
Alex November 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM
If it were all about saving lives they would reward drivers who wear their seat belts rather than punish those who do not. Of course there's no money to be made in rewarding good behavior so that couldn't work.
Gerald M. Gaynor November 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM
We don't make it a practice to "reward" people for obeying the law; we punish those who fail to do so. It is a rather simple and well established practice that goes back to the Code of Hammurabi if not farther. When a town, state or nation reaches the point in its decline that citizens expect to be rewarded for doing what they are supposed to do the end is in sight.
Monrovian November 28, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Car manufacturers should prevent the car from starting without the engagement of the belt. Pretty simple.
Stephanie G November 28, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I know that some models used to do that years ago - and I know people who got around that feature by either simply engaging the belt and then sitting on it or actually cutting the belt close to the buckle so that they could just leave it "buckled" all the time. Maybe technology advances could get around that, but I'm sure people would come up with "work arounds" for new technology as well. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of a "nanny government" but I've never understood why some people are so resistant towards wearing them when it's pretty obvious that they save lives. It was a law from the time I started learning to drive back in the late 80's, so it's just habit for me by this point. Its so ingrained that I don't even feel comfortable moving my car around the driveway without buckling up. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law refuses to wear on - if given a choice - but we refuse to start the car if she doesn't buckle up or get into a car with her driving if she doesn't. Not that I needed it, but it was one heck of a reminder to know someone who came perilously close to losing his life after being ejected from a car during an accident while not wearing a seat belt.
Alex November 28, 2012 at 01:53 PM
End in sight lol. Watch our Gaynor, your age is showing. In my former town in Massachusetts officers would hand out free ice cream tickets to anyone found wearing a bike helmet. Point being, rewarding for good behavior rather punish does exist (and this was 10 years ago and no the end of the world hasn't occurred), and may be better effective than negative reinforcement. I'm not for more laws, but it's laughable to call the click ticket campaign about saving lives, while a motorcyclist drives by without a helmet on.
Geezer November 28, 2012 at 01:57 PM
insurance companies should be permitted to lower payments when injured drivers/passengers are not wearing seat belts - the same should apply to drivers in accidents causes by distracted driving
QWERTY November 28, 2012 at 05:03 PM
There are too many exclusions in insurance already! No more.

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