Wisconsin DOT kicks off "Click It or Ticket" campaign

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Wisconsin DOT has announced an increased seatbelt enforcement program set to begin May 20th and run through June 2nd.

A total of 405 law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will have more officers patrolling for longer hours to crackdown on unbuckled drivers and passengers during the annual Click It or Ticket safety belt enforcement mobilization. The number of law enforcement agencies participating in this year’s Click It or Ticket is a record high for Wisconsin.

“Click It or Ticket is more than just a slogan for law enforcement agencies. Whenever officers observe an unbelted motorist, they will stop the vehicle and issue a citation,” says Wisconsin State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Last year in Wisconsin, there were nearly 105,000 convictions for failure to fasten safety belts. Among all traffic violations in Wisconsin, safety belt convictions were second only to speeding convictions.”

According to Major Huxtable, approximately one out of five motorists in Wisconsin does not buckle up. Wisconsin’s safety belt use rate of approximately 80 percent lags behind the national average of 86 percent and neighboring states all of which have safety belt use rates higher than 90 percent.

“Consistent safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people from being ejected from a vehicle or thrown around violently inside it during a crash and possibly hitting another vehicle occupant with massive force,” she says. ”Our goal during Click It or Ticket and throughout the year is not to write more tickets. Through enforcement and education, we’re trying to convince everyone to buckle up voluntarily so that ultimately we can reduce the number of preventable traffic deaths to zero in Wisconsin. We all must do our part, and that starts by buckling up every trip, every time.”