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It’s time to click it or get a ticket

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Although seat belt usage is a yearlong focus of area law enforcement, authorities will be extra vigilant for unrestrained drivers beginning May 20 when the 2013 “Click It or Ticket” campaign gets underway. The campaign runs through June 2.

The national seat belt enforcement campaign is designed to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.

Pulaski and Dublin police departments and Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office are joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing all traffic laws, especially seat belt laws, around the clock.

“Seat belt use is just too important to ignore”, said Officer Megan Jennings with Pulaski Police Department. “We want to stress that regularly buckling up works, and we know of too many cases, largely at night, that all too often end in tragedy.” She added, “Our goal is to save more lives, so Pulaski Police Department will be out enforcing all traffic laws including seat belt use around the clock.”

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis said deputies enforce seat belt laws all year long, but the department will be stepping up enforcement of seat belt and child restraint laws during the campaign.

“Our deputies work vehicle accidents daily and we see how seat belt usage and properly used child restraints reduce injuries and save lives,” he said. “Most of us (officers) have also been involved in a wreck where seat belts were” a factor in preventing or reducing injuries.

In Dublin, Chief Dennis Lambert said motorists will see more officers on the town streets during the campaign.

“The month of May, with the Memorial Day holiday included, is usually a time of heavy traffic and higher accidents,” Lambert said. “The weather is warmer, pools are opening, people are having picnics, and heading to the beach and lakes or traveling to see family and friends. As chief of police in Dublin, I want to urge our citizens and everyone that passes through our fair town to wear their seatbelts and drive cautiously and safely.”

He added, “The ‘Click It or Ticket’ enforcement will be underway this month and although our officers are always enforcing traffic laws and seatbelt violations, you will see a higher number of Dublin officers out to crack down on unsafe motorists so that everyone can arrive at their destinations.”

Virginia’s seat belt usage rate was 78.43 percent in 2011 (using a new survey methodology), and there is still much work to be done.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicle’s Highway Safety Office’s TREDS (Traffic Records Electronic Data System), preliminary 2012 statistics show there were a total of 774 fatalities in Virginia, 305 of which were unrestrained at the time of the crash.  Of the unrestrained fatalities, 28 percent resulted from crashes that occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight and 25 percent occurred between midnight and 6 a.m.

Regular seat belt use saves thousands of lives across Virginia each year.  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that in 2011 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 272 lives in Virginia.  It is estimated an additional 112 lives could be saved with 100 percent seat belt use.

The chiefs and sheriff say everyone in a vehicle should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night. But they remind those who choose to disobey the law that their officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is violating the seat belt law, no warnings and no excuses.

 

Comments

comments

9 Responses to It’s time to click it or get a ticket

  1. live free

    May 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    The only reason for the crack down on seat belt law is to get money.If the law would like to make our county safe they would crack down on drunk driving and the drug sales in town.Seat belt laws and helmet laws are wrong.We are adults we should be able to do what we want as long as we hurt no one.This is taking our freedom away.

    • Cat

      May 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      I totally agree with your comment. We are adults and as long as we don’t hurt anyone, it should be our decision to wear or not to wear helmets or seatbelts.

    • Closer to the Truth

      May 22, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Agreed. I put my seatbelt on every time. It just makes sense to do so. However, we are all adults and can make a decision for ourselves. The “Click it or ticket” is just revenue generation under the guise of safety.

      A ticket only be given for an adult not having a child wear a seatbelt. We can cannot expect children to always make the right choice, that’s what adults are supposed to help with. This is the only case where the law makes sense from the point of safety.

  2. Cat

    May 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    They can’t stop and ticket a driver just because he or she is not wearing a seatbelt. It is a secondary offense. Cops can issue a seatbelt ticket if they stop a driver for a moving violation or any other violation but NOT for only not wearing the seatbelt.

    • Closer to the Truth

      May 22, 2013 at 7:02 am

      It may be a secondary offense, but they can always use the old “I thought your taillight was out” ruse. Once stopped, they notice that they were wrong about your taillight but just happen to notice you not have buckled up.

      There’s always a way around everything…

  3. Care4u

    May 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I have cut people free from being in a vehicle upside down and have minor injuries because of seat belts. Ask anyone who has had their life saved by a seat belt, just how important they are……I pray you drive free and live long and are not one of the countless others who discovered how “secondary” seat belts are the hard way.

  4. concerned

    May 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Sometimes the public needs to be protected from themselves. There was a lot of uproar when the law was first initiated but now you don’t hear about as much because most people do wear their seatbelts now b/c of the law. That’s a good thing. True you are only hurting yourself … or are you? What if its a parent who gets killed b/c they didn’t choose to wear a safety belt?

  5. rick massie sr

    June 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I think it should be up to the person if they waint to a seatbelt or not if it’s your time to die seatbelt not going to save you

  6. concerned

    June 15, 2013 at 7:02 am

    ifyou believe that rick then you might as well not wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, don’t look both ways when crossing the street, if you are in the military then don’t carry a weapon or wear your flak jacket etc. ignorance is bliss

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