NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — City 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 New Brunswick Police Department.
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 press release.
In New Brunswick, 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 department.
“Seatbelts are a key factor in making sure both drivers and passengers arrive safely at their destination,” New Brunswick police Lt. Raymond Trigg said in a statement. “It is important that both adults and children buckle up when riding in a car.”
Last year’s two-week crackdown in New Brunswick resulted in 128 seatbelt citations, 27 tickets regarding improper child restraints, 16 charges for suspended driving, six careless driving citations and 56 tickets for other infractions, according to city cops.
Across the country, police during the campaign issued nearly 27,000 seatbelt tickets, 5,500 speeding tickets and booked 875 people for impaired driving, according to the press release.
Authorities this year intend to highlight the need for seatbelts by adults, no matter where they sit in the car.
In New Jersey, more than 93 percent of those in a front seat use their seatbelt, according to the department. But adults sitting in the back seat buckle up “at a significantly lower rate,” police said.
“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,” Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said in a statement.