A special effort to try and increase seatbelt usage will continue through the rest of this week. Randy Hunefeld of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau says its part of the "Click it or Ticket" campaign that has one purpose. He says they want to make motorists aware of the need to buckle up and the fact you can get an 83-dollar ticket if you don’t.
The campaign started one week ago and Hunefeld says it’s designed to lead into the summer season. Hunefeld says they want people to know there are extra officers out there and they should buckle up, slow down and drive sober. Hunefeld says nighttime driving hours are one major focus in this program.
He says the date show that even though the seatbelt usage rate has hit 91-percent, fatalities have continued to go up. Hunefeld says that’s caused them to look at different areas to improve those numbers and nighttime enforcement is one of the things they’re trying. Hunefeld says the stats raised concern about night driving problems.
Hunefeld says even though there’s a smaller percentage of drivers at night, there’s a 50% rate of fatalities. He says a lot of the people at night are "high risk" drivers who’re more likely to be involved in criminal activity like drunk driving and speeding.
Hunefeld says they’ll be looking out for young drivers, as 64% of teenagers killed in crashes during 2006 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crashes. And the 2006 observed seat belt usage rate of those ages 16 to 24 was lower than any other age group.