Hundreds of law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin to combine resources watching for unbuckled motorists and other unsafe driving behaviors
Milwaukee – To encourage all drivers and passengers to wear a safety belt, hundreds of law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin are participating in the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization that begins today (May 22) and runs through June 4. Donald Driver, the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver and Zero in Wisconsin spokesperson for safety belt use, helped kick-off this year’s law enforcement safety initiative at a news conference in Milwaukee.
“As part of Click It or Ticket, state and local law enforcement officers will patrol in greater numbers for longer hours looking for unbuckled motorists,” said David Pabst, Director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety. “This is not about writing citations – it’s about saving lives by encouraging all drivers and passengers to buckle up every day, every trip, every seat.” Last year in Wisconsin, there were over 68,500 convictions for failure to fasten a safety belt, and nearly half of the drivers and passengers killed in traffic crashes were not wearing safety belts.
Along with enhanced law enforcement efforts during Click It or Ticket, WisDOT is using federal funds to distribute TV, radio, Internet and other messages – some featuring Donald Driver – that can also be viewed at zeroinwisconsin.gov. WisDOT unveiled a new TV spot entitled “Bad Date” that highlights how an unbuckled motorist risks their own serious injury or death – plus endangers other vehicle occupants when thrown about violently in a crash. Also during Click It or Ticket, WisDOT will use electronic message signs along major highways to display reminders about buckling up.
When seat belt ads featuring Donald Driver first aired in 2009, Wisconsin’s overall safety belt use rate was under 74 percent. Thanks to ongoing public education and law enforcement efforts, today’s safety belt use rate of 88.4 percent is an all-time high for Wisconsin, but still lags behind the national average of over 90 percent.
“Over the last eight years, our collective efforts have boosted seat belt use by nearly 15 percent in Wisconsin,” Pabst said. “It’s safe to say there are many people alive today simply because they were wearing a safety belt. Although we’re making progress and saving lives, we will continue to push towards our goal of zero deaths on Wisconsin roads.”