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University Police to Mobilize for Safety Belt Enforcement May 19-June 1

RELEASED: May 14, 2008

Click It or Ticket imageEAU CLAIRE — The University Police at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will team with hundreds of law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin for the "Click It or Ticket" safety belt enforcement mobilization May 19-June 1.

This year's "Click It or Ticket" likely will be the largest coordinated law enforcement mobilization ever in Wisconsin, according to Sgt. Jay Dobson.

University Police emblem"During 'Click It or Ticket,' our officers will patrol in greater numbers, including night-time hours when safety belt use declines," said Dobson. "Our goal is not to write more tickets, but to save lives and reduce injuries through voluntary compliance with Wisconsin's mandatory safety belt law. However, if you are stopped by an officer and are not buckled up, we will take enforcement action, whether you're driving or just a passenger."

"Click It or Ticket" combines intensified safety belt enforcement with a public awareness campaign funded by the federal government.

Previous "Click It or Ticket" mobilizations have helped increase the safety belt use rate in Wisconsin to an all-time high of 75 percent. But Dobson said Wisconsin still has a long way to go to achieve the 82 percent national average for safety belt use and to match neighboring states, such as Michigan with 93 percent, Illinois with 90 percent, Iowa with 89 percent and Minnesota with 87 percent.

Every 1 percent increase in safety belt use in Wisconsin saves six lives per year, according to Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety estimates.

"Often at a crash scene, law enforcement officers see people injured because they were not buckled up," said Dobson. "Consistent safety belt use is the single-most effective protection against being injured during a crash. That's why we're so serious about safety belt enforcement. No matter what you drive or where you're going, you are required by law to buckle up every time you get behind the wheel or ride in a vehicle."

For more information, contact Dobson at 715-836-2222.

-30-

NW

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