Local News, News Briefs, police

‘Click it or ticket’ campaign begins May 24 with border-to-border kickoff event

Like most Vermonters, highway safety officers have been watching the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting state of emergency from week to week, wondering what the next step will be in our journey back to “normal.”

After 14 months it finally seems like we are on the brink of returning to something close to life as we used to know it. 

As more motorists take to the roads and try and get some normalcy back, and as the Memorial Day holiday approaches, law enforcement agencies are urging everyone to buckle up. For a two-week period beginning on Monday, May 24, law enforcement officers across the country will be out in full force, taking part in the 2021 Click It or Ticket (CIOT) national seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted. 

The 2021 national Click It or Ticket law enforcement mobilization runs from Monday, May 24 through Sunday, June 6.

On May 24, state, county, and local law enforcement officers from Vermont and New York joined law enforcement agencies across the United States in mobilizing the “Border-to-Border” operation to kick off the Click It or Ticket campaign. Law enforcement agencies from bordering states will join forces to provide increased seat belt enforcement near state borders, sending a zero-tolerance message to the public: driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what state you’re in. 

“The Border-to-Border component of the Click It or Ticket campaign is so important because it demonstrates our unified commitment to highway safety,” said Paul White, law enforcement liaison with the Vermont State Highway Safety Office. “This isn’t just a Vermont issue, or a New York issue, it is everyone’s issue. And with an increased number of travelers hitting the road due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, it’s imperative that we get the word out about the importance of seat belts.”

Vermont law enforcement agencies and the Vermont Click It or Ticket Task Force will be using roving patrols and checkpoints, on roadways identified as having higher unbelted crash rates. They will be enforcing aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving violations during this period. These behaviors are the leading causes of serious crashes. Wearing your seat belt is not optional.   

“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater,” said Lt. Allen Fortin, the Chittenden/Franklin County highway safety coordinator. “We want to make this the safest summer possible. Buckling up is not optional; it’s the law and can be the difference between life and death in a crash. That is why we’re out here enforcing the law. Click it or Ticket, every time, day or night.” 

“If this enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” White said. “Because buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. If you know a friend or a family member who doesn’t buckle up when they drive or ride in a car, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up, every trip, every time.”

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