Law enforcement agencies and transportation safety officials are delivering a simple, but potentially life-saving message to all motorists: buckle up – every seat – every trip. During the annual Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign that begins Monday (June 22) and runs through Sunday, July 5, law enforcement agencies across the state will patrol in greater numbers for longer hours to help ensure motorists are traveling safely.
“The primary goal of this national public education and enforcement initiative is motorist safety,” Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “To move towards our goal of Zero Deaths on Wisconsin roads, we need all motorists to be safe and responsible. That means buckle up, watch your speed and set the phone aside.”
Wisconsin’s current seat belt use rate is 90.2 percent – the highest ever. Still, of all the car and light truck occupants killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes last year, 44% were not wearing a seat belt.
Wisconsin’s primary seat belt law, in place since 2009, allows law enforcement to stop and cite motorists for failing to wear a seat belt. Drivers can also be cited for every unbuckled passenger in their vehicle. Failure to fasten a seat belt is among the most common traffic violations in Wisconsin and resulted in 41,654 traffic convictions last year.
During Click It or Ticket, WisDOT will use designated federal funds to support enhanced law enforcement efforts, TV, radio and other public education messages. Electronic message signs along major highways will also display buckle up reminders.
“Keeping people and commerce moving safely will always be our top priority,” said State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell. “During Click It or Ticket and throughout the year, we’re asking motorists to voluntarily comply with seat belt and other traffic laws that help keep everyone along our roadways safe.”