‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign underway in conjunction with Memorial Day holiday period

Sarasota Police Department urging drivers and passengers to wear seat belts

Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

During the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort, the Sarasota Police Department is reminding drivers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt.

The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, began May 24 and will continue through June 6, a Police Department news release points out.

“We want the act of buckling up to become automatic to all drivers and passengers,” said Officer Tim Bales of the Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit in the release. “It’s not just a safe thing to do, it’s the law,” he added. “During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be partnering with area law enforcement agencies to make sure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt. We have seen the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented,” Bales pointed out in the release.

According to NHTSA, in 2019, 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 55% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts, the release notes. “That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement,” the release explains. “Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night,” the release adds.

In the City of Sarasota, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $116, the release points out.

“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” Bales said in the release. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed. Seat belts save lives, and everyone, front seat, and back, child and adult, needs to remember to buckle up always,” he added.