The annual Click It or Ticket campaign begins this week. With it, police seek to reduce traffic deaths and injuries by increasing seat belt use.
Local police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police posts in 40 counties will conduct federally funded seat belt enforcement zones through the busy Memorial Day travel weekend. This is an increase from 26 counties last year.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department will be participating in the program with enforcement zones in Jenison on Wednesday, in the area of U.S. 31 and Ferris Street in Grand Haven Township on Friday, in Holland on May 27, and at James Street and 120th Avenue in Holland Township on May 29. State police will operate zones in Allendale on May 31 and Hudsonville on June 1.
A seat belt enforcement zone is marked with a large portable sign. Law enforcement officers are stationed throughout this area looking for and stopping unbuckled motorists.
“Seat belt use has dropped in Michigan, and we’re doing all we can to save lives and reduce injuries by stressing the importance of belt use and Michigan’s seat belt law,” said Michael Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “With seat belt enforcement zones in effect, motorists need to play defense by buckling up.”
During last year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement, 9,003 seat belt and child seat violation tickets were issued. Of the 15 people who died on Michigan roads over the Memorial Day holiday period in 2013, two of the nine vehicle occupants were not wearing a seat belt.
Michigan law requires all drivers and passengers age 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4 feet, 9 inches tall.