Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rural communities get a jump start on 'Click it or Ticket' campaign to increase safety on roads

Most highways are located in rural areas, and rural drivers are often the ones least likely to wear seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's annual "Click it or Ticket" campaign to encourage drivers to wear seat belts isn't scheduled until May, but some rural areas got a head start with local campaigns focused on their areas.

Colorado ran a Click It or Ticket rural enforcement period from March 31 to April 6. The partnership between the state Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and 29 rural law enforcement agencies netted more then 1,700 citations in 25 rural communities for not buckling up, Erin Udall reports for the Coloradoan. While the state patrol gave out the most citations, 957, the most given by a local organization was the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office, which issued 87. During last year's campaign 1,578 people were ticketed for not wearing a seat belt, with 88 percent over the age of 21, reports KKTV in Colorado Springs.

Minnesota also held a similar campaign in March, with state troopers giving out "more than 500 tickets in Southeast Minnesota alone for people who didn't buckle up," Hannah Tran reports for KAAL-TV. The Minnesota campaign was started in response to statistics that found that 75 percent of Minnesotans don't use child seats properly, and 50 percent of all traffic fatalities involve drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts, reports WDAZ in Grand Forks, N.D.

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