Research shows when seat belts are used properly, the risk of being killed in a crash is reduced by nearly 50 percent. However, 225 of the people killed last year in crashes where seat belts were available were not buckled up.
In an effort to increase seat belt use and saves lives, law enforcement from 155 agencies across the state will take to the streets May 20-June 2 to stop and ticket unbelted motorists. Agencies in 26 counties, including Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren, will be conducting seat belt enforcement paid for through federal traffic safety funds administered by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).
“Wearing a seat belt is the easiest, most effective way to save your life in the event of a traffic crash,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “It can also save you $65 as Michigan law enforcement will be out strictly enforcing the state’s seat belt law over the next couple of weeks.”
Following the state’s record-high rate of 97.9 percent in 2009, seat belt use declined to 93.6 percent in 2012. Every 1 percent increase in belt use means 10 fewer traffic deaths and 130 fewer injuries.
During last year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement, 8,050 seat belt and child seat violation tickets were written.
Michigan law requires all drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall. Children must be in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.