Suffering from Buckle-phobia? Click It or Ticket Enforcement Zones Start TodayContact:
Anne Readett, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, (517) 241-2569Agency:
May 20, 2013
Michigan's Click It or Ticket campaign is getting a shot in the arm, so to speak, from new and light-hearted messaging that features a health care theme to alert motorists to stepped up enforcement. The campaign introduces a make-believe condition called Buckle-phobia.
"The clinically proven solution? The seat belt. Recent studies show that wearing one inside a safety belt enforcement zone means you won't feel the side effects of a $65 ticket."
While Buckle-phobia is imaginary, safety belt enforcement zones are real and will be seen across the state starting today as the annual two-week traffic enforcement campaign moves into full swing.
"Seat belts are a genuine lifesaver," said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), which coordinates the annual seat belt mobilization. "The approach may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but our message is serious."
Local police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police posts in 26 counties will conduct federally funded safety belt enforcement zones through the busy Memorial Day travel weekend.
Although Michigan led the nation in seat belt use for two years running, 2008 and 2009, belt use has declined for the last three years. Last year belt use was at 93.6 percent. Despite a high belt use rate, nearly half of vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes are unbuckled.
Law enforcement officers from 155 agencies in Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Eaton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are participating in the nationwide seat belt mobilization.
Last year, Michigan officers issued 8,125 seat belt citations and 213 child restraint citations during the seat belt enforcement period. Of the ten people who died over the Memorial Day holiday period in 2012, three of the seven vehicle occupants were not wearing a seat belt.
A safety belt enforcement zone is marked with a large portable sign. Law enforcement officers are stationed throughout this area looking for and stopping unbuckled motorists.
Michigan law requires all drivers and passengers 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.
The Buckle-phobia Click It or Ticket spots can be viewed at Youtube.com/ohsp.
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