ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Sheriff Armando Fontoura advised motorists in a recent press release that the Essex County Sheriff’s Office will join with municipal police from around New Jersey in cracking down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign.
Beginning May 21 and running through June 3, the annual “Click It or Ticket” national mobilization utilizes high-visibility seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, in combination with local and national publicity efforts, to reiterate the life-saving value of seat belts.
“Using a seat belt is the simplest way for a driver and his or her passengers to protect themselves when traveling,” Fontoura said in the press release. “In 2016, it is estimated that more than 14,500 lives were saved nationally by the proper use of seat belts.”
Fontoura added that a key focus of this year’s campaign is to promote seat belt usage by adults in all seating positions in the vehicle — both front and rear seats. The front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 94.07 percent; however, adults riding in rear seats are buckling up at a significantly lower rate, only 48 percent in the most recent survey.
“For whatever reason there seems to be a disconnect with people feeling they don’t need to buckle up when riding as a passenger in rear seats, and this is a concern,” Fontoura said.
During last year’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign, 350 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative. As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 17,792 seat belt citations, 6,363 speeding summonses and made 976 impaired driving arrests.