Press Release Date:
August 25, 2003
|| Archived September 10, 2003
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Starting today, over 780 state, county and local law enforcement agencies will conduct the first Click It or Ticket enforcement period since passage of the primary safety belt law. The new primary safety belt law gives law enforcement the ability to pull over and ticket motorists who refuse to buckle up.
During the two week Labor Day enforcement period, which begins today, law enforcement will be conducting over 100 safety belt enforcement zones throughout Illinois. During a safety belt enforcement zone, a contingent of police officers will ticket motorists observed not wearing safety belts. This enforcement is often conducted at intersections when the traffic light turns red. Motorists wearing their safety belts are not inconvenienced. The safety belt enforcement zones were piloted successfully earlier this month.
Additionally, law enforcement will be conducting saturation patrols and other stepped-up enforcement through the course of this zero tolerance enforcement period.
“While the Click It or Ticket Labor Day enforcement will be conducted on all Illinois roadways, special focus will be placed on residential roads where safety belt use lags over 15 percent below interstate usage rates,” said Timothy Martin, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation. “Motorists must understand they are at equal risk of death or injury while running an errand on a neighborhood street, as they are on an interstate highway,” he continued.
The Click It or Ticket campaign relies on high visibility safety belt enforcement periods coupled with aggressive communication to let people know about the dangers of not buckling up. For many non-safety belt users, and especially young people, the threat of a ticket has proven to be a greater incentive to buckle up than the threat of injury or death. “The goal of Click It or Ticket is not to write tickets, but rather to save lives,” Martin added. “It is important that motorists understand the importance of buckling up every time they get into their vehicle,” said Larry Trent, Director of the Illinois State Police. “Traffic crashes are the number one killer of kids and are among the leading cause of death to teens and adults. Among those motorists 18 to 34 years of age killed in car crashes last year in Illinois, nearly eight out of ten were not buckled up,” he added.
“It is the goal of the Illinois State Police to safeguard the motoring public, regardless of age, by decreasing traffic fatalities and injury through voluntary compliance with Illinois’ safety belt and child safety seat laws,” Trent concluded.
The Click It or Ticket Labor Day enforcement period runs from August 24th through Labor Day and concludes September 7th.