‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign a reminder to obey seat belt laws

To remind everyone about the importance of buckling up, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning Monday launched a “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign that runs though June 5.

Officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police will conduct seat belt enforcement across the state during the three-week period. The campaign includes Memorial Day weekend.

In Michigan, 228 people killed in traffic crashes during 2020 were not wearing a seat belt.

“Wearing a seat belt is the most effective thing drivers can do to reduce injuries and save lives on our roadways,” said Alicia Sledge, OHSP interim director. “The numbers don’t lie. For decades, we have strongly encouraged everyone to buckle up, and that crucial message has saved many lives.

“As the busy summer travel season gets underway, we want to remind drivers and passengers to stay safe and wear a seat belt, every trip, every time.”

The 2020 Memorial Day weekend saw 12 fatal crashes on Michigan roadways that resulted in 12 fatalities. One of the 12 deaths involved a driver not wearing a seat belt.

In Michigan, the seat belt usage rate in 2021 was 92.6%, down from 94.4% in 2019. The national seat belt usage rate in 2021 was 90.4%.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved 14,955 lives nationwide in 2017. According to the NHTSA, buckling up in the front seat can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by 45%.

Michigan law requires drivers, front-seat passengers, and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. The fine and associated costs for not wearing a seat belt is $65. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall, and children younger than 4 years must be in the back seat.

The OHSP coordinates the “Click It or Ticket” effort, which is supported by federal traffic safety funds.


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