By Peter Elacqua
MARLBORO – The Marlboro Police Department will join with police from across the country in cracking down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
Running from May 22 through June 4, the annual “Click It or Ticket” national mobilization uses high-visibility seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, in combination with local and national publicity efforts, to reiterate the life-saving value of seat belts, according to a press release from the Marlboro police department.
“The Marlboro Police Department will be aggressively enforcing the New Jersey seat belt regulations during the Click It or Ticket campaign,” Capt. Frederick J. Reck said. “The extent and severity of injuries increases due to unrestrained occupants in a motor vehicle during an accident.
“By wearing your seat belt it greatly enhances your ability to protect yourself in the event of a serious motor vehicle accident. Unrestrained occupants in a motor vehicle crash are vulnerable to more serious injuries should they become ejected from the vehicle during a crash.
“We should all keep in mind that no one ever plans on the time and place they will become involved in a motor vehicle crash. This is why wearing a seat belt each and every time you are in a motor vehicle is so important. Safe travel along our highways and roads is the main objective as we enter into the summer season,” Reck said.
“Using a seat belt is the simplest way for a driver and his or her passengers to protect themselves when traveling,” said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “In 2015, it is estimated that 14,000 lives were saved nationally by the proper use of seat belts.”
Poedubicky said a key focus of this year’s campaign is to promote seat belt usage by adults in all seating positions in the vehicle, both front and rear seats.
The front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 93.35 percent. However, adults riding in rear seats are buckling up at a significantly lower rate, according to the press release.
“For whatever reason, there seems to be a disconnect with people feeling they don’t need to buckle up when riding as a passenger in rear seats, and this is a concern,” Poedubicky said.
According to the press release, during the 2016 “Click It or Ticket” campaign, 387 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative. As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 26,551 seat belt citations, 5,517 speeding summonses and made 876 impaired driving arrests.