PennDOT, Police Team Up to Get Drivers to Buckle Up
Don’t forget to click it, or you’ll get a ticket.
Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies announced efforts to increase safety on local roads by getting motorists to “Click It or Ticket.”
The Click It or Ticket effort will run from today through June 12.
Lou Belmont, PennDOT traffic engineer, explained that 92 law enforcement agencies in the five-county Philadelphia region received Click It or Ticket grants from PennDOT to create awareness for seatbelt safety.
He said 82 percent of Pennsylvania drivers buckle up, which is good but not good enough.
“Last year, there were 524 unbuckled highway fatalities,” he said, which was a 16.2 percent increase over 2009. Of those fatalities, 12 were in Bucks County and 14 in Montgomery County.
According to PennDOT, of all Pennsylvania’s traffic fatalities last year, 75 percent were not wearing seat belts.
In Bucks County, 27 police departments shared $41,450 in Click It or Ticket grants from PennDOT and 20 Montgomery County departments shared $52,650.
The grants cover overtime and equipment costs for seatbelt enforcement this year.
Gordon Beck, law enforcement liaison for Buckle Up Pennsylvania, a PennDOT program dedicated to raising seatbelt usage, told the media that officers would be manning Traffic Enforcement Zones (TEZ) today on Street Road in Lower Southampton and Upper Southampton as part of the effort. TEZs target enforcement on areas with high unbuckled-crash rates.
In those areas, officers will be handing out Click It or Ticket warnings to drivers which explain Pennsylvania’s seatbelt laws.
Beck said officers would put a special emphasis on evening hours when seatbelt usage is traditionally lower.
In this state, seatbelt infractions are a secondary offense, which means that police don’t stop drivers for seatbelt violations alone. They can issue seatbelt tickets if they stop drivers for other offenses.