Seatbelt enforcement campaign includes checkpoints and saturation patrols

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

From May 24 through June 6, the annual Click It or Ticket national mobilization utilizes high visibility seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, in combination with local and national publicity efforts, to reiterate the lifesaving value of seat belts.

“Using a seat belt is the simplest way for motor vehicle occupants to protect themselves on the road,” Eric Heitmann, director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said in a prepared statement. “Crash statistics show that in 2017 alone, seat belt use saved nearly 15,000 lives nationally.”

In New Jersey, a key focus of this year’s Click It or Ticket 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 90.23%. However, adults riding in rear seats are buckling up at a significantly lower rate, only 48% according to the most recent surveys, according to the statement.

“For whatever reason there seems to be a disconnect with people feeling they don’t need to buckle up when riding as passengers in rear seats, and this is a concern,” Heitmann said in the statement. “By promoting back seat usage of seat belts during our Click It or Ticket campaign, we’re encouraging passenger habits that will save lives.”

The 2020 Click It or Ticket mobilization was cancelled due to the COVID public health emergency. During the 2019 Click it or Ticket campaign, 343 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative. As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 14,548 seat belt citations, 5,670 speeding summonses and made 858 impaired driving arrests, according to the statement.