All occupants of vehicles advised to wear seatbelts

Law enforcement officers from around the country will crack down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

Through June 5, the annual “Click It or Ticket” national mobilization utilizes high visibility seatbelt checkpoints and saturation patrols, in combination with local and national publicity efforts, to reiterate the lifesaving value of seatbelts.

“Using a seatbelt is the simplest way for a driver and his or her passengers to protect themselves when traveling,” Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said in a prepared statement. “In 2013, 21,000 people in the U.S. were killed in traffic crashes, and almost half of them were unrestrained.”

Poedubicky added that a key focus of this year’s campaign is to promote sea belt usage by adults in the rear seats of vehicles. The front seatbelt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 91.36 percent; however, adults riding in rear seats are only buckling up at a rate of 39 percent.

“This is a concern,” he said. “We need to drive home the message that all motor vehicle occupants need to buckle up during every trip, in every seating position.”

During the 2015 “Click it or Ticket” campaign, 372 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative. As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 26,308 seat belt citations, 4,969 speeding summonses and made 833 impaired driving arrests.