FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ — Township police officers plan to crack down on drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts from May 22 to June 4, according to an announcement from the Somerset County Prosecutor's office.
The move is part of the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which police from many municipalities plan to carry out. They hope to encourage people to use seatbelts, which in 2015 saved an estimated 14,000 lives, according to the announcement.
In Franklin Township, that could include “high-visibility” seatbelt checkpoints, “saturation patrols” and a media blitz to underscore how effective seatbelts are at saving lives, according to the announcement.
“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.
Poedubicky added that "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%. However, adults riding in rear seats are buckling up at a significantly lower rate. 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."
During the 2016 “Click it or Ticket” campaign, 387 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative, according to the announcement.
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, according to the announcement.
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