Police cracking down on seatbelt violations

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.

Law enforcement officials around the state kicked off their annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign Monday as part of a nationwide effort to boost seatbelt use.

Gainesville Police Department officers will be out “in full force” to crack down on motorists who are not buckled up, said GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias.

“There are no warnings during this national enforcement wave — if you are caught without your seatbelt, you will receive a $104 ticket,” Tobias said. “Our goal is 100 percent compliance with the seatbelt laws.”

The campaign runs through June 2 and includes the busy Memorial Day weekend. Other local agencies, including the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol and the University of Florida Police Department, are participating.

Since 2009, Florida’s primary safety belt law requires drivers and passengers to fasten their belts.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seatbelts, according to the GPD release.

The figure jumped to 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. That same year, NHTSA estimated that seatbelt use saved 11,949 lives.

Maru I. Opabola is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.

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