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Click It or Ticket yields 767 seat belt violations

By Staff | Mar 20, 2010

Cape Coral police saw an increase in the number of drivers who wore seat belts after two weeks of the Click It or Ticket campaign.
The Cape Coral Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol joined other agencies across the state from March 1 through Monday in an effort to save lives and reduce traffic crash injuries. Click It or Ticket is a cooperative effort among law enforcement, the Florida Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Cape police focused on encouraging drivers and passengers to buckle up as required by Florida laws, according to spokeswoman Connie Barron. Officers issued 767 seat belt violations and 13 child restraint violations. There were 33 citations issued for moving infractions and 50 citations for non-moving.
“March is traditionally the deadliest month of the year in Florida for motorists, and many of these fatalities could be prevented if the occupants wore seat belts,” Sgt. Keith Perrin, of the CCPD’s Special Operations Bureau, said.
“Our main goals with ‘Click It or Ticket’ were to raise awareness and encourage compliance,” he said. “Based on the results, we were successful in achieving these goals.”
Cape officers targeted three intersections for the seat belt enforcement. Police conducted pre-enforcement surveys of the intersections and found that 72 percent of motorists were wearing seat belts, Barron said. Post-enforcement surveys showed that compliance increased to 92 percent.
Cape police also issued 13 criminal infractions, and three drivers were arrested for DUI, driving with license suspended and on a warrant.
According to Barron, there were 40 fatalities on Florida’s roadways during the first five days of March 2009. With law enforcement agencies statewide conducting the Click It or Ticket campaign, only 12 fatalities were recorded in the first five days of March this year.
“We are committed to educating motorists and enforcing Florida’s Safety Belt Law to ensure they buckle up,” FHP Col. John Czernis said. “The Florida Highway Patrol will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners on such initiatives to pave the way to a safer Florida.”
According to a prepared statement, FHP troopers issued nearly 37,000 traffic citations during the campaign. They made 311 arrests for DUI, cited more than 10,000 drivers for speeding and assisted nearly 10,000 drivers.
“The dedicated service and commitment to highway safety that our troopers exhibit makes a difference,” Czernis said.
Florida implemented the Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law on June 30. It allows law enforcement to stop and cite motorists who violate the law, according to the statement. The law allows for the primary enforcement of Florida’s safety belt requirements, which will save an estimated 124 lives and prevent more than 1,700 injuries annually.
The next Click It or Ticket is scheduled for the weekend of May 18.