The Bremen Police Department/Marshall County Traffic Safety Partnership comprised of officers from Bremen, Bourbon, Plymouth, Argos, Culver, and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department announced the results of the 2020 Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization, which began in early November and lasted through the end of the month. During the 20-day enforcement period, officers wrote a total of 44 citations for seat belt violations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, 90.7 percent of drivers and passengers across the nation were wearing seat belts. Additionally, NHTSA statistics show in 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives nationwide.
While Indiana’s seat belt usage rate continues to be above the national average at 94.6 percent, more than half of the people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes last year were not buckled up. Drivers under the age 34, particularly young male drivers, were more likely to be found not wearing a seat belt.
“Indiana’s seat belt usage rate is good, but we can do better,” said Devon McDonald, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Executive Director. “Thousands of lives could be saved each year if everyone buckled up. This campaign isn’t about statistics or the number of citations issued; it’s about saving lives.”
For more than 20 years, Indiana has been participating in the annual Click It or Ticket enforcement effort, which was funded by NHTSA through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. This year, the Marshall County Traffic Safety Partnership was one of more than 200 participating Indiana law enforcement agencies.
Although the zero-tolerance mobilization is over, daily seat belt enforcement continues. The department wants to remind everyone in the vehicle, drivers and passengers, to wear a seat belt.
Indiana has a primary seat belt law, which allows law enforcement officers to stop and cite drivers and passengers for failing to wear a seat belt. Drivers can also be cited for each unbuckled passenger under the age of 16. Children under eight must be properly restrained in a federally approved child or booster seat.