GREENDALE — Law enforcement officials ramped up their seat belt monitoring with the “Click It or Ticket” campaign which began Monday, May 21st.
The seat belt enforcement campaign will run through June 3rd, with over 400 Wisconsin law enforcement agencies putting in longer hours patrolling for seat belt violations.
Wisconsin State Patrol officials say there has been a rise in traffic deaths this year, and wearing a seat belt can save lives. “Traffic deaths are increasing in Wisconsin in 2012 and the primary reason for that is due to occupants being ejected during a crash,” Greendale Police Lt. Jeffrey Zainer said.
It’s a $10 fine for unbuckled adults and a nearly $90 fine for unbuckled children four and under. “If we can get them to buckle up and reduce their speed, we’ll go a long way to saving a lot of lives,” Lt. Zainer said.
85,000 tickets were handed out during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign last year. Police are hoping for a lower number this year.
“In Wisconsin, we are at roughly 79 percent for our seatbelt rate, and that’s low for the nation. Typically, the national average for seatbelt usage is 86 percent,” Lt. Zainer said.
Police say Wisconsin is also lower than Michigan and Illinois, where the seatbelt usage rate is at 90 percent. Officials say many don’t wear their seatbelts in Wisconsin’s rural areas, or on short trips.
Law enforcement officials plan to make their presence known over the next two weeks, with the ultimate goal being zero traffic deaths in Wisconsin.