“Click it or ticket” — police effort underway to help save lives

Wearing a seat belt could mean the difference between life or death.

That’s the important safety message coming from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office, whose deputies will be on the lookout for unrestrained motorists over the next couple weeks.

“Operation Belt Up” is now in effect and runs through Thursday, Nov. 5.  The overtime patrols, occurring in the top 30 Indiana counties for unrestrained crashes, are paid for with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds, administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

“We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time, and it’s heartbreaking,” said LCSO Captain Derek J. Allen.  “Motorists are 12 times more likely to be killed if they are unrestrained.  Buckling up is not just an important, life-saving strategy — it’s the law.”

Last year, out of the total number of motorists involved in passenger vehicle crashes, 90 percent were wearing a seat belt.  Despite this, unrestrained motorists accounted for over half of all vehicle fatalities in 2019 — 308 out of 565, according to data from the criminal justice institute.

Drivers under the age 34, particularly young male drivers, were more likely to be found not wearing a seat belt.  In addition, individuals not buckled up were three times more likely to get injured in crashes when the driver was speeding and seven times more likely when the driver was impaired.

“Wearing a seat belt is the easiest and single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself on the road,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI executive director.  “Make it the first thing you do every time you get into a vehicle.  It could just save your life.”

Indiana law requires everyone in the vehicle, drivers and passengers, to wear a seat belt.  Children under eight (8) must be properly restrained in in a federally-approved child or booster seat.

To make sure everyone is buckled up properly, the sheriff’s office recommends making sure the lap belt is properly secured across the hip and pelvis, below the stomach.  The shoulder belt should be positioned across the middle of the chest and away from the neck – never behind the back or under an arm.

If the seat belt doesn’t fit, or the car is older and only has lap belts, ask the car dealer or vehicle manufacturer about seat belt adjusters, extenders or retrofits.

Parents and caregivers can choose the safest car seat for their child by visiting TheRightSeat.com. They can also find a certified child passenger safety technician to inspect and assist with the installation of a car seat: www.childseat.in.gov.

3 Responses to ““Click it or ticket” — police effort underway to help save lives”

  1. lawman

    Oct 27. 2020

    odd how they never look for vehicles that have been missing headlights or mufflers for YEARS. some cars and trucks have had a whole front side smashed to the point of no place to even put a headlight and the area is rusted over. i have a truck in mind i have been seeing this way for maybe 3 years. used to be 2 headlights, a muffler. tread on tires and a license plate were required to operate a vehicle. has that changed?

    Reply to this comment
  2. John

    Oct 27. 2020

    Lawman, the cops only ticket for what they want to, and they only see what they want to. Not wearing a seatbelt is far worse than driving around in a vehicle about to fall apart. As long as they can make money on a traffic stop by issuing a ticket, why should they care what the vehicle looks like?

    Reply to this comment
    • Spot on John!

      Oct 27. 2020

      Giovanni… you are wrong! Well, sort of right. The police receive $3.00 for every conviction on a traffic citation. That money is to be used for training. No one in police work is getting rich off of tickets.

      Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply