Authorities Put the ‘Ticket’ In Click It or Ticket

Authorities Put the ‘Ticket’ In Click It or Ticket

State and Local Officials Kick-off Annual Campaign Urging Floridians to Buckle Up or Pay Up


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 21 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — With a mandate to enforce Florida’s primary safety belt law, authorities across the state are gearing up to pull over and ticket unbuckled motorists during the annual statewide Click it or Ticket campaign that begins this Monday.

Last year, Florida lawmakers passed legislation requiring all motorists to buckle up in moving vehicles. This is the first year the new law will be in effect during the campaign’s enforcement period from May 24 through June 6, which includes the Memorial Day holiday weekend – a time when many motorists take to the roads for the long weekend.

“Seat belts save lives,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos. “During this Memorial Day Click it or Ticket campaign, all Floridians are encouraged to make safe decisions and buckle up each and every time they are on the road.”

Regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. The most recent traffic crash data (2008) shows that in Florida, 1,795 people in safety-belt-equipped vehicles died in automobile collisions. Sixty percent of them were not wearing their safety belt.

Florida reached a record 85.2 percent safety belt usage rate last year following FDOT’s Click it or Ticket campaign and the passage of the state’s primary enforcement law. The national safety belt use rate for 2009 was 84 percent.

During a kickoff event at the State Capitol Building this morning, FDOT Assistant Secretary Debbie Hunt and other FDOT leaders were joined by Capt. Mark Welch of the Florida Highway Patrol, Col. David Dees of the Motor Carrier Compliance, Capt. Gene Revell of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and Chief Dennis Jones of the Tallahassee Police Department – who all pledged to promote safety belt use through the enforcement of the primary law.

FDOT also revealed that since the new law went into effect last July, more than 350,000 tickets have been issued to motorists statewide for not wearing their safety belts on Florida’s roadways.

“The primary point of Click it or Ticket is not to get people to pay up, but to buckle up,” said Col. John Czernis, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Ensuring the safety of Florida’s motorists and increasing the number of lives saved as a direct result of wearing a safety belt every time you get in a car is our primary concern.”

In addition to increased daytime enforcement, officers will also conduct heavy patrols and safety efforts during the evening hours to find unbuckled motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nighttime drivers and passengers are far less likely to use their safety belts. Based on 2008 data, approximately 671 people in Florida who were not wearing a safety belt, died in traffic crashes between the hours of 6 p.m. – 6 a.m.

For more information about Florida’s Click It or Ticket campaign, visit http://www.clickitflorida.org.

SOURCE Florida Department of Transportation

Authorities Put the ‘Ticket’ In Click It or Ticket