Law enforcement officers from the West Orange Township Police Department will be cracking down on unbuckled motorists and their passengers as part of the national "Click it or Ticket" campaign.
Beginning May 23rd and running through June 5th, the annual initiative includes high visibility law enforcement seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, as well as local and national publicity designed to ensure the drivers and passengers recognize the life saving value of seat belts.
"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. "Motor vehicle occupants who buckle-up increase their chances of surviving a crash by as much as 75 percent."
Last year , the front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey rose for the 14th consecutive year to 93.73%. Poedubicky noted that while front seat belt usage rates continue to increase in New Jersey, law enforcement and safety officials want to ultimately see a 100 percent compliance rate.
"New Jersey has a strong front seat belt usage rate, but there is still work to do," he said. "To meet our goal, we must continue both enforcement and public outreach efforts that educate all motor vehicle occupants about the importance of buckling up, every ride."
Poedubicky added that the campaign will also focus on rear seat passengers as well. Legislation requiring adult back seat passengers to buckle up became law last year. Currently, adult back seat belt use stands at only 27 percent.
During the 2010 "Click it or Ticket" campaign, 406 police agencies participated in the two-week initiative. As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 35,671 seat belt citations, 5,832 speeding summonses and made 592 drunk driving arrests.