Officers from more than 150 local police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police issued 1,814 seat belt and child restraint citations during the Click It Or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign Oct. 27-Nov. 9.
“Officers from local, county and state agencies conduct seat belt enforcement zones to remind motorists that seat belts are your best and primary defense in the event of a crash,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “These efforts are about saving lives and preventing injuries.”
For the first time since 2009, seat belt use in Michigan increased slightly in 2014, from 93 percent to 93.3 percent.
During the two-week effort, officers also issued 512 citations for speeding, 319 citations for driving with a suspended license, 258 citations for red-light running and 445 citations to uninsured motorists. Officers arrested 119 fugitives and 142 others for misdemeanors. Of the 180 arrests for drunk driving, 23 had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17 percent or higher.
A seat belt enforcement zone in Berrien County resulted in an arrest for a concealed pistol violation. In Wayne County, a driver arrested with a BAC of 0.17 had an infant in the vehicle. In addition, a teenage driver in Marquette County was arrested for drunk driving.
According to preliminary reports, there were six traffic fatalities Oct. 31-Nov. 1. One of those involved alcohol and two drivers were not wearing seat belts. There were 13 fatalities during the same period in 2013.
Law enforcement officers from Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Eaton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford counties participated in the Click It Or Ticket campaign.
The traffic enforcement effort was paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by OHSP.
Grant-funded seat belt and drunk driving enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in February 2013.