BENNINGTON - Bennington Police want to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. In order to enforce this reminder, Bennington Police and the Vermont State Police will be stepping up enforcement beginning Monday, May 19. The national Click It or Ticket campaigns ends on June 1.
The Bennington Police Department's efforts are part of a larger, national Click It or Ticket mobilization that runs May 19 - June 1. As motorists take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement officials across the nation will be ensuring that everyone buckles up.
"Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound," said Paul J. Doucette, Bennington Police Department Chief of Police. "If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed."
Seat belt tickets in Vermont are secondary violations, which means the law enforcement officer will stop you for a primary offense and if any occupants or driver are not buckled the driver received a ticket for the primary offense as well as the seat belt violation add on.
According to new data released from the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities are up nationwide for the first time in five years. In 2012, 10,335 people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts. NHTSA data also details how more traffic vehicle deaths occur at night. In 2012, 61 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed during the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts.
"We are determined to help bring these numbers down," said Bennington Police Lieutenant Lloyd Dean. "There are too many people dying on the roads, and many of those deaths could have been prevented if people took the simple step of wearing their seat belt. In Vermont there have been 12 fatal crash investigations resulting in 12 fatalities. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if people had buckled up. We will be handing out tickets year-round to those who still haven't gotten the message."
Vermont law enforcement is also partnering with New York law enforcement to participate in Border to Border checkpoints. There are numerous checkpoints sites selected along the Vermont/New York border for the joint checkpoints.