Police: 'Click It or Ticket' Begins Monday
Brielle and Spring Lake Heights cops to run seatbelt checkpoints, patrols
Local police starting Monday will be cracking down on unbuckled drivers and their passengers as part of the statewide "Click It or Ticket" campaign.
Brielle and Spring Lake Heights Police Departments received $4000 each from the state to run seatbelt enforcement checkpoints and saturation patrols from May 21 to June 3.
The crackdowns come during Memorial Day Weekend, one of the most hectic times to be driving, according to a release from the state Department of Law and Public Safety.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2010 and 51 percent of them were not wearing seat belts, the release says.
And NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide.
“Buckling up is the single most effective way for a motor vehicle occupant to avoid death or serious injury in a crash,” Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky said in the release. “During what we expect to be a highly trafficked period, motorists and their passengers need to make their safety the top priority and wear their seat belt no matter how long the journey.”
The state adopted the program in 2003 and has since increased seatbelt compliance from drivers and their front-seat passengers to 95 percent in 2011 from 81 percent the year "Click It or Ticket" began, making New Jersey among the national leaders.
Back-seat compliance, however, is extremely low at just 61 percent.
Last year, 85 percent of New Jersey police agencies, or 419 of 493, participated in the campaign from May 23 to June 5, which resulted in 32,228 seat belt citations, down from 35,671 in 2010.
Police officers also wrote 926 child restraint and 5,865 speeding citations, and made 953 DWI arrests, the release says.
Legislation passed in 2010 made it a secondary offense for adults over the age of 18 to ride unbuckled in the back seat of a motor vehicle.
The law allows police to issue a summons and fine of $46 to unrestrained adults in the back seat when the car they are riding in is pulled over for another violation.
The state’s primary seat belt law requires all motorists and passengers in the front seat, including passengers under the age of 18, to wear a seat belt or be securely buckled in a car seat, or face a $46 fine. This ticket is issued to the driver.