Safety Belt Enforcement Zones In Effect Until June 3Contact: Nikki Klemmer 517-333-5304
Because safety belt use goes down as the sun sets, law enforcement agencies in 11 pilot counties will look specifically for safety belt use tonight and early-morning Friday.
The pilot project is part of the annual Buckle Up or Pay Up, Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign that continues this Memorial Day weekend through June 3. More than 500 Michigan law enforcement agencies are making safety belt enforcement a priority by taking part in the national campaign focused on saving lives by increasing safety belt use. Much of the enforcement takes place in the form of daytime safety belt enforcement zones in 55 counties.
More than 800 safety belt enforcement zones are being conducted across the state from May 21-June 3. On Monday, the first day of the campaign, 68 out of 100 zones reported that officers issued 1,384 citations for unbuckled passengers. Of those citations, 1,356 were for unbelted drivers and their passengers and 28 were for children under age four who were not properly restrained. Other activity included 115 misdemeanor and five felony arrests, 34 citations issued for driving on a suspended license, 17 speeding citations and 340 other traffic citations.
Agencies in Genesee, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Saginaw, Washtenaw and Wayne counties will conduct safety belt roving patrols tonight. Crash forms consistently indicate that safety belt use in Michigan falls dramatically between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. In 2006, 107 vehicle occupants - mainly men - died unbelted in nighttime crashes.
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is coordinating the Buckle Up or Pay Up, Click It or Ticket mobilization, providing federal traffic safety funds for overtime patrols to more than 200 Michigan law enforcement agencies. By providing law enforcement agencies with overtime funding, officers can concentrate on safety belt enforcement without taking away from their day-to-day duties.
Michigan law requires all drivers and front seat passengers to be buckled up and children under age 4 to be in an approved child safety seat. It also requires passengers 15 and younger to be buckled up in all positions.
A listing of planned safety belt enforcement zones and enforcement activity can be found at the OHSP Web site: www.michigan.gov/ohsp.