BENNINGTON -- A safety campaign by police has ended with 24 tickets being issued to people driving while not wearing seatbelts.
The "Click It Or Ticket" campaign ended on June 1 having begun 14 days earlier. In addition to the 24 seatbelt tickets, two tickets were written for people not using child safety seats properly. Overall the campaign led to 221 traffic tickets.
"Memorial Day weekend kicked off summer vacation season and our priority was to ensure that everyone arrived at their destination safe and sound," said Bennington Police Lt. Lloyd Dean in a release. "We said we'd be cracking down on those not wearing their seatbelts. Some people chose not to listen and they were ticketed."
Click It Or Ticket is a nationwide campaign and many other Vermont police agencies participated. The Bennington Police Department received a $9,000 grant from the Governor's Highway Safety Program to pay for extra patrols aimed at encouraging seatbelt use. Motorists can not be pulled over for a seatbelt violation, but police look for other things, such as broken lights, to stop cars and check seatbelt usage.
"The mobilization may have ended, but the crackdown on those who flaunt the law by not wearing their seatbelts will continue year-round," said Dean. "We're not issuing tickets for our own enjoyment, we're doing this to save lives. Too many people are unnecessarily dying on our roads."
Police cited data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing traffic fatalities are up in the United States for the first time in five years. The Vermont Department of Public Safety said that last year 70 people were killed in vehicle crashes in Vermont. Of them, 24 were not wearing seatbelts.