STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The Rhinelander Police Department will team up with hundreds of law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin for the “Click It or Ticket” safety belt enforcement mobilization from May 23 through June 5, 2016.
According to a press release, the goal during the mobilization is not to write more tickets but to save lives and reduce injuries through voluntary compliance with Wisconsin’s mandatory safety belt law. However, anyone – drivers and passengers unbuckled and stopped by an officer will get a ticket.
“Click It or Ticket” combines intensified safety belt enforcement with a public awareness campaign, funded by the federal government. Previous “Click It or Ticket” mobilizations have helped increase the safety belt use rate in Wisconsin to an all-time high of 75 percent. But that puts Wisconsin in last place among its neighbors, and a long way from the 82 percent national average for safety belt use. Michigan has 93 percent compliance, Illinois has 90 percent, Iowa, 89 percent and Minnesotans buckle up 87 percent of the time.
More than half of automobile deaths involved unbelted occupants. Every one percent increase in safety belt use in Wisconsin saves six lives per year, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety estimates. Authorities say consistent safety belt use is the single-most effective protection against being ejected from a vehicle or thrown around violently inside it during a crash.